With the drop in tourism from the United Kingdom, Portugal was the only one of the 10 European countries to record lower activity of air traffic last Sunday than two weeks earlier.
Portugal has experienced a recovery in tourism in recent months, reflecting the deconfinement measures, but also the entry on the UK’s green list. However, that status was temporary, and the pullback is already being reflected in air traffic, with travel between the two countries down by over 50%.
“States generally saw traffic rising yesterday [on Sunday] – except for Portugal, down 4% over 2 weeks as a result of a 53% fall in traffic with the UK,” Eamonn Brennan, director-general of Eurocontrol, announced on Twitter this Monday.
Portugal was the only European Union country on the green list, so national tourism lost the competitive advantage it had over other European destinations when it moved into the “amber” category. In effect from June 8, British tourists will have to go through a 10-day quarantine period on arrival (performing Covid-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arrival).
Soon after the announcement, the higher demand for the tickets caused flight prices to skyrocket, especially on flights departing from Faro, as the Algarve is one of the UK’s favourite destinations for tourists. Now, on the first weekend, since the self-quarantine period became mandatory again, the effect of the decision is being already felt.
With the fall in tourism from the United Kingdom, Portugal was the only one of the 10 European countries to record lower activity of air traffic last Sunday than two weeks earlier. Spain was the busiest country with 2,739 flights (26% more than a fortnight ago), followed by Germany (with a 19% increase to 2,581 crossings) and France (which increased flights by 26% to 2,346).