easyJet has seen an enormous surge in ski-related flight bookings from Britons following a change in the rules applied to travel to France. The airline has seen an increase of up to 600% in bookings after the policy change. French ski resorts have suffered from a lack of British tourists over the holiday period.
France surprised many looking to get away over Christmas by banning all travel from Brits, except for a handful of published reasons in the run-up to the holiday. Notably, tourism and business trips were off the cards. The strict rules have been relaxed as cases in the country begin to fall, suggesting the peak of the omicron wave has passed.
easyJet sees a boom in bookings
easyJet has seen a considerable boom in last-minute bookings on some routes following the French rule relaxation. Last-minute bookings to French ski resorts have increased by 600%. However, this isn’t the only route to see a positive impact. Bookings to Switzerland jumped by 386% right after the announcement was made.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
While the news is good for passengers and the airlines, it is also good for French ski resorts. After the initial travel ban was brought into force, the BBC reported that French ski resorts were in disarray because one in four visitors before the pandemic were British. Now, local companies, especially those relying on English speakers, will have a slightly easier time.
Commenting on the sudden surge in bookings, Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said,
“With France welcoming British tourists once again, skiing is well and truly back on. This is welcome news for UK consumers, particularly for those looking to book a last-minute family break or planning to head to the slopes, with low fares still available across thousands of flights to France this winter, including over half-term.”
What are the new rules?
France relaxed its COVID-19 related travel restrictions with the UK today. The new rules mean that all travelers must be able to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours. Antigen and PCR tests are valid, but it makes sense to take a rapid antigen test given the short time frame and their cheaper costs. These must be private tests with certificates and not the free NHS tests.
Fully vaccinated travelers will not need a compelling reason to travel to France. They will no longer have to fill in an online passenger locator form (though a COVID-19 attestation is required). They may still be subject to a test on arrival and quarantine should they test positive.
Unvaccinated travelers will have to follow the rules for travelers from a “red” country. This means that such passengers will have to prove that they have an overriding reason to travel to the country. Unvaccinated travelers will still need to fill in an online form before departure and quarantine for ten days upon arrival in the country. The French security services will enforce this.
Are you looking to travel to France following the rule relaxation? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!