More than 1,300 flights are planned from the UK to Spain during the February midterm after a surge in demand for winter holidays in the sun.
The country and its islands are expected to see 1,338 flights from the UK this semester, making it the most popular destination for holidaymakers, according to aviation analyst Cirium.
Most of the early season boom is centered on the Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands – despite new Covid alert levels in Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
However, the Catalonia region – which includes the Costa Brava and the city of Barcelona – has announced the lifting of all curfews and the easing of restrictions on the opening of bars and restaurants. Its official website said: “Catalonia is currently returning to normality, still subject to the virus situation, which is still under constant control.
“As a result, the tourist offer and leisure activities are not affected by limitations on opening hours or capacity, with a few exceptions where capacity is limited to 80%.”
Temporary measures still include social gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people; nightclubs remain closed, while bars and restaurants must limit indoor capacity by 50%.
The Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera are also set to start the 2022 summer season earlier than normal in a bid to recoup ground lost to the pandemic with some hotels opening next month. .
Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said: “The Balearic Islands will again be the number one tourist destination this year.”
The minister welcomed the airlines’ decision to bring forward their summer flight schedules for Mallorca.
She said: “This earlier scheduling of flights is positive and shows confidence in Spain and that tourism policies have been effective. These flights to the Balearic Islands give us all confidence that Spain is a safe country that offers the best tourist experiences.”
German airlines, including TUI, pledge to anticipate the resumption of holiday flights to meet growing demand. TUI UK flights will begin on March 1 as planned, while Jet2 resumes services from several UK airports to Mallorca from mid-February following an increase in demand.
Restrictions on the opening hours and capacity of bars and restaurants are not expected to be reviewed by local authorities until February 28. Customers must also provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
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Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019, with over 80 million international visitors.
Tourism only reached a third of that number last year as travel bans and other restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus prevented a noticeable recovery in this sector.
The spread of the Omicron variant and the restrictions imposed by the Spanish government to stop the spread of the virus continue to prevent the increase in tourist numbers.
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