Surge in flight tickets around Christmas, despite negative travel advice
Many Netherlands residents seem to be ignoring the government's urgent advice to not travel abroad until at least mid-January. The number of flight tickets booked around the Christmas period increased sharply over the past weeks, BNR reported after speaking to four major airline ticket providers.
Vliegtickets.nl had a good month in November, selling 90 percent more tickets than in October. Black Friday was an especially good day, with sales spiking that day thanks to discounts and good news about coronavirus vaccines. 67 percent of the tickets bought from the provider in November, were for flights in December.
Vliegtickets.nl told the broadcaster that it has now sold 25 to 35 percent of the number of tickets sold last year. While that is still a significant drop, the company is very relieved that bookings are increasing again. "You can see the booking numbers increase quite quickly when there is light at the end of the tunnel and there are real possibilities again," a spokesperson said to BNR. The most popular destinations are Turkey and Spain.
Cheaptickets.nl, Budgetair, and Vliegwinkel.nl, all of which fall under Travix, told BNR that the number of tickets sold is still much lower than for a "normal year", but they too noticed a surge in tickets bought for a flight around the holidays, especially for flights around December 18 and 19. "Those days really stand out," a Travix spokesperson said. The most popular destinations at these providers are Portugal and Turkey.
The surge in flight tickets is in direct contrast to the Dutch government's appeal to Netherlands residents to not travel abroad over the holidays. That advice applies until at least mid-January, and seems unlikely to be relaxed sooner as stricter measures are expected to be announced this week.
The most popular destinations - Portugal, Turkey, and Spain - also all currently have "code orange" travel advice attached to them. This means that all but absolutely necessary trips to the areas are strongly discouraged, due to the coronavirus situation in the areas.