Flights from UK to Spain among the only half-term bargains left, says travel expert

Half-term flights are proving expensive. JJFarq/

UK travel expert Simon Calder has described air fares for the forthcoming half-term break as at ‘Concorde level’.

Travel journalist and broadcaster Mr Calder was reacting to an article in the Independent which highlighted that easyJet flights from Gatwick to Geneva are currently selling at up to £1,336 for under 900 miles of air travel – that is apparently comparable with Concorde prices.

There are some cheaper deals available, however, mainly for flights to and from the UK and Spain.

The cheapest deal for overseas flights leaving tomorrow, February 11, and returning a week later that The Independent has identified is just £125 return from London Heathrow to Madrid, sold online through British Airways but actually operated by its partner, Iberia.

Generally, though, half-term air fares have soared to unprecedented levels as pent-up demand combines with a reduced supply of flights.

London Gatwick to Geneva is a perfect example.

easyJet departures on Saturday 11 February between 7am and lunchtime are selling at £606 one-way, with inbound early afternoon services a week later at £730.

The rate-per-mile is £1.50, roughly the same as the London-New York fare on Concorde before it stopped flying 20 years ago.

Mr Calder took to Twitter to make his point.

He posted: “Half-term air fares at Concorde levels: £1.50 per mile on easyJet from Gatwick to Geneva.

“But the £1,336 return fare (out tomorrow, back 18 Feb) doesn’t include champagne, supersonic travel or even luggage.

“One bargain, though: Heathrow-Madrid £125 return.”

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Airlines are making hay while the sun shines.

“High inflation is enabling them to put up prices but they are also benefiting from high demand for fewer flights.

“There’s no real incentive for carriers to get back to 100 per cent of their pre-Covid operations.

“They are making more money with fewer services. Why change anything?”

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Written by

Simon Smedley

Reporter - Euro Weekly News