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Busiest day of the year for flying revealed as summer holidays take off

Travel data and analytics expert Cirium forecasts nearly half a million travellers set to take to the skies from the UK on August 23 – marking busiest day of 2019
As the summer holidays get underway, new data from aviation and travel data analytics expert Cirium shows August 23 is set to be the busiest day of the year for flights from the UK.

Nearly half a million UK travellers will jet off on the Friday before the late August bank holiday weekend, with a total of just over 2,600 flights scheduled to depart that day alone, according to Cirium data.  

EasyJet is set to fly up to 84,500 customers on 614 flights from the UK on domestic and European routes.  

Meanwhile, British Airways is expected to carry up to 82,000 customers the same day on 583 long and short-haul flights, with up to 56,000 customers departing on 352 flights from its Heathrow hub.  

Globally, between July 1 and August 31, almost seven million flights are scheduled to take off, with as many as a billion travellers worldwide, and around 34.5 million from the UK, ready to pack their bags for leisure and business trips.  

Spain is revealed as the most popular destination from the UK for 2019, continuing to be a firm favourite for family holidays. The US follows closely in second place, with popular short-haul hotspots, Italy, Germany and France, also in the top five.   

More than 30,000 flights, carrying approximately five million passengers, are scheduled to depart between the UK and Spain this summer, making it the perfect choice for those in search of a European getaway over the school holidays.  

Passenger numbers are based on maximum capacity of available scheduled aircraft as passenger loads are usually at their highest levels during peak travel seasons, such as the summer months.  

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our data shows that, the summer holiday season for UK travellers is set to be busier than ever, with almost half a million people flying on August 23, the busiest day for flying in the UK in 2019, before the late August bank holiday.  

“Short-haul destinations across Europe are seeing a surge in popularity as airlines operate peak schedules to meet traveller demand.  

“But, while flights to the US remain popular among UK travellers, services from the UK to the States are down by 0.3% on last year. The softening in demand could be due to a fall in the pound relative to the dollar, amid ongoing Brexit negotiations, or the changing political climate in the US.  

“At Cirium, our data experts keep a close eye on passenger schedules and market trends, meaning we’re perfectly positioned to help our airline customers anticipate potential disruption and unlock consumer insights that improve the traveller experience.”  

Over the late August bank holiday weekend, London Heathrow tops the list of the five busiest UK airports as expected, followed by Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Manchester Airport is set to be the busiest regional hub airport.  

EasyJet is the most popular UK airline for flights to Europe, welcoming over six million passengers, more than any other carrier this summer, and operating a staggering 35,000 flights in July and August.  

British Airways is second most popular and set to carry more than four million passengers, onboard almost 28,000 flights during its summer schedule, followed by budget carriers Ryanair, FlyBe and Jet2.  

Cirium analyses more than 70 million passenger journeys annually to provide meaningful insights and keep the travel industry in motion.  

This data is used by a wide range of customers, such as airlines and airports, to improve the travel experience through smart devices and metasearch engines, like Google, Amazon and Expedia, to provide information directly to passengers, enabling them to make more informed choices to when on the move.  

Cirium’s data and analytics divisions have been the first to bring innovative solutions to market, such as the first to automate the ticket waiver process during times of flight delays and cancellations.  

It employs over 400 technology experts, analysts, data scientists and market experts in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, India and Asia-Pacific.  

The group has significantly grown in recent years with the acquisition of leading data intelligence companies, including Ascend, Innovata, Diio and FlightStats.

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