This December scheduled departures from the UK are projected to hit 83% of December 2019 levels, as the industry continues to see strong winter demand. Flights from UK airports are also up 35% compared to December 2021, with over 65,000 planned departures during this month.
Flights from the UK to Europe’s most popular ski resorts are scheduled to exceed pre-pandemic levels this December, as winter leisure travel booms:
Cirium’s data shows:
Flights from the UK to Switzerland are projected to hit 94% of 2019 levels:
o With Geneva seeing 4.1% more flights than December 2019
Flights from the UK to Austria are scheduled to reach 91% of Dec 2019 levels:
o With the ski resorts of Innsbruck and Salzburg both seeing 24% more UK flights than pre-pandemic. The lesser-known city of Klagenfurt will also see a huge 200% increase in UK flights this December versus 2019.
While flights from the UK to France have only reached 74% of 2019 levels:
o Grenoble has seen a 4% rise in departures compared to December 2019, while the alpine airport of Chambery has matched pre-pandemic frequencies. The French gateway of Lyon, however, is scheduled to see flights 11% down.
Northern Italy has also showed growth, with flights from the UK to Turin and Verona up 12% and 5% respectively. Flights to Milan Malpensa and Bergamo are also around the same levels as recorded in December 2019.
Booked revenues through the summer and into the peak booking period this autumn have been 51% ahead of 2021 levels.
Despite the headwinds in the economy and political volatility in recent months, Ski Solutions has seen booking revenues up 23% compared to 2019, before the pandemic.
Ski Solutions has been staggered by the unrelenting strength of demand coming through this year, with the underlying demographic of skiers looking to be incredibly resilient to the current economic pressures, with customers not prepared to give up their annual holiday to the mountains.
Despite prices being up 15% compared to 2019, Ski Solutions is seeing no dip in demand for core four and five-star premium packages, or any trend towards lower grade destinations. Covid has highlighted the value that can come from booking a package with a genuine travel expert.
The classic, snow-sure resorts of the Alps continue to feature most prominently (Val d’ Isère, Val Thorens, Verbier), though Ski Solutions has seen strong demand this year for Canada (Whistler in particular) and family friendly options in Norway which offer good value for money.
Craig Burton, Managing Director of Ski Solutions has commented:
“After a couple of seasons of unpredictability for the ski industry throughout the pandemic, we’re thrilled to see the demand for ski holidays this winter exceeding pre-pandemic levels with booking revenues up 23% compared to this time in 2019. This is reassurance that this winter is going to be one of the strongest seasons we’ve seen yet. Our bookings team has seen huge demand for some of the familiar favourite resorts such as Val d’Isère and Whistler, but also some of the lesser-discovered alternative options including new resorts that have been added to our portfolio in Norway. There’s never been a better time to get your ski holiday booked, and we look forward to welcoming our customers, both new and old, back to the slopes very soon.”