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Travel expert warns flight prices will rise ‘rapidly’ due to a spike in demand

The annual rush to the beach is back on as travel firms report a huge rise in bookings after it was announced that restrictions will ease soon.

But a travel expert has warned that this could leave some Brits unable to secure a holiday as flight prices soar.

Currently, airlines and tour operators are offering record discounts in a bid to persuade nervous travellers to return after months of lockdown.

Comparison website TravelSupermarket said prices had dropped by 22% for holidays in the Costa del Sol, 19% in the Canary Islands and 17% in Greece.

Holidaymakers have been warned that prices could be raised soon

But a source told the Sunday Times that there are fears that demand could soon outstrip supply.

They warned: “At the moment, prices for flights are low but with reduced capacity and rising demand, they will increase rapidly.”

Currently, a week’s break for a family of four at four-star accommodation at Algarve, Portugal from August 31 is £240 per person, down from £300pp.

And a three-star holiday in self-catering accommodation to Faliraki, Rhodes, in September now starts at £167pp, down from £220.

But across Europe, lockdown restrictions have been eased at a different rate, meaning some citizens have already been able to book a holiday.

This means Brits may struggle to secure their trip at the cheapest price.

Another source, who advises luxury travel operators, told the paper: “Across Europe there is going to be a spike in the number of people taking domestic holidays.

“They’ve had a head start. Countries in the EU set out their plans earlier.

“In France, it was announced in late May that the 100km travel ban would be scrapped on June 2.

“Its citizens have had the confidence to book for over a month now. The same is true of the Dutch.”

Travel firms have reported strong demand after the Government announced plans to loosen restrictions.

Rental website Spain-Holiday, which offers more than 18,000 properties, said Saturday morning was its busiest ever.

Searches soared by 42%, as sun seekers sought rural villas instead of traditional favourites, which are likely to be more crowded.

Peter Jarvis, head of international brands for the platform, said: “We’re seeing a huge interest in villages and small towns, particularly in the Alicante or Andalucia areas.

“People want to be away from the crowds in a standalone home.”

Skyscanner, which helps travellers find the cheapest flights, said its bookings for international economy flights jumped a whopping 84% month-on-month.

The Government is expected to unveil its new system, on Wednesday, which will see countries be graded under a traffic light system, based on the rate of infection in each country.

Holidays are expected to be allowed to low or medium-risk destinations, meaning trips to France, Greece and Spain look like they could be an option.

Under the new scheme, UK holidaymakers will be able to return home without having to quarantine for 14 days.

Restrictions are expected to be lifted as soon as July 6, in a huge boost to the travel industry which has been crippled by the pandemic.




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