Answering a surge in demand for flights connecting the UK to the island of Majorca, Eurowings will begin offering flights connecting Manchester and Birmingham to the Spanish island. These will be Eurowings’ first flights on the UK holiday market, but many more are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
For the first time in its history, Eurowings, a subsidiary of German carrier Lufthansa, will offer flights for holiday-makers in the UK. The airline announced via Twitter and with a statement on its website that it has seen a huge increase in demand for flights to the Balearic island of Majorca.
Eurowings has a hub on this island and already provides flights from the island chain to several German locations, earning the nickname the “Palma Shuttle.” The UK flights will begin with two return flights a week from Birmingham airport and an additional two from Manchester. However, the airline has said it will consider more UK airports and UK routes over the coming weeks.
A huge jump in foreign holiday bookings
The decision to enter the UK holiday market comes as a direct result of the UK Prime Minster’s speech last week. In the speech, Boris Johnson confirmed a timeline for the country’s reopening, including potential dates for foreign travel. Eurowings says travel bookings jumped by over 600% immediately after the announcement as Britons look to get away and get some sun. The island of Majorca announced it would be reopening at around the same time as it has seen a decrease in the number of cases on the island.
Eurowings is clearly hoping to capitalize on the number of Brits look for holidays abroad. But the airline will have stiff competition from carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet. With holidays to the US and the rest of the world still in question, airlines will be preparing for a wave of travel around Europe.
Although airlines may be patiently waiting for a pre-summer travel boom to boost their numbers, countries are still cautious about letting foreigners in. Vaccine roll-outs are slower in other countries compared to the UK, and new variants of the virus are threatening to ruin holiday plans.
Could Eurowings benefit?
If Europe does open its border internally, perhaps including the UK, perhaps not, some airlines will see a huge change in their numbers while others won’t. It goes without saying that the low-cost carriers would stand to benefit hugely as they have strong networks offering connections to major holiday destinations.
Eurowings had a rather disappointing year in 2019 and made a loss but was hoping to turn things around last year, ready to make a profit this year. Clearly, last year didn’t go as planned. But that might not prevent the airline from making a profit this year. A huge travel boom combined with the new UK expansion and recently announced European destinations could help the airline make a profit despite hard conditions.
Of course, an increase in demand lasting for just a few weeks won’t give the airline the numbers it needs. The airline is trying to encourage customers where possible by offering a generous rebooking policy and up to 25% off some destinations. The question is, will the increase in demand last long enough to help airlines?
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