Airfares skyrocket ahead of greenlist decision

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Airfares skyrocket ahead of greenlist decision


On the eve of the government’s announcement of the “green list” countries, air fares to some destinations that should be without quarantine are skyrocketing.

With Portugal generally considered to be one of the very few accessible countries in the low risk category, the lowest British Airways fare from London Heathrow to Faro on May 17th is £ 530 one way – more expensive than one way. BA return to New York. , for which movements are severely limited.

Right now all public holidays from the UK are illegal, but the restriction is to be relaxed – at least from England – from May 17.

British Airways has two flights to the Portugal Algarve on this date, at 8.40 am and 2.15 pm The lowest fare of the two is £ 530 one way, with two seats remaining on the first and three on the second.

By comparison, a ticket on the only BA flight from London to New York that day, returning a week later, costs £ 517 – covering a distance seven times as far.

Due to the way British Airways prices its tickets, a return journey from Heathrow to Faro, departing on the 17th and returning three days later, costs £ 473 – a saving of £ 57 off the one-way fare by purchasing a round trip.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “Like many of our customers, we are delighted to be back in the sky and have had some amazing deals that were quickly closed.

“In the airline industry, the price of tickets increases as the lowest fares sell out.

“Our customers also book with confidence, knowing that if their plans change, they can move their flight dates or request a voucher for an upcoming trip.”

The evening BA flight returning from Faro to Heathrow on May 17 costs just € 60 (£ 52).

On the same day, easyJet offers a morning flight from Gatwick to Faro, currently priced at £ 309 – although only four seats are available at that price.

An easyJet evening departure from Luton to Faro costs £ 234, with three seats remaining.

Corresponding journeys back from Faro on this date are € 49 to Gatwick and € 33 to Luton.

One-way fare from BA to the capital, Lisbon, is £ 336 on May 17th. The morning departure allows the traveler to reach the city at 10:15 am.

The airline’s website lists a lower fare of £ 149 for a connecting flight via Madrid – but this will trigger ‘orange list’ conditions, requiring self-isolation on return to the UK if the traveler has been in Spain during the previous 10 days.

From Manchester to Lisbon on the evening of May 17th, TAP Portugal has a one-way fare of £ 140.

Ryanair has a Stansted-Porto flight on the morning of May 17th for £ 152 one way.

Prices in Malta, another possibility for a low risk rating, are significantly lower. Air Malta has a one-way flight on May 17th for £ 104, with a return a week later for £ 43.

Gibraltar, where almost the entire adult population has been vaccinated and Covid is all but wiped out, is considered a certainty for the green list.

But the UK Overseas Territory has traditionally been a late-booking market: a newly scheduled Wizz Air flight from Luton to Gibraltar is available on May 17 for as little as £ 37 one-way, but is likely to rise sharply in the days before departure. .

Iceland, which is set to welcome vaccinated British holidaymakers, does not have a direct flight from the UK on May 17. The afternoon departure on Icelandair from Heathrow to Reykjavik the following day is £ 232 one way.

Once the green list is known, airlines and vacation companies are expected to increase capacity, which could lead to lower fares when additional seats go on sale.

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