In a setback for the UK, air travel fell for the second year in a row, this time by 71 percent in 2021.
In a setback for the United Kingdom, air travel has declined for the second year in a row, falling to 71 percent this year. According to The Guardian, only 406,060 flights in and out of the UK were operated this year, down from nearly 1.4 million before the pandemic. Domestic flight service in the UK has also decreased by nearly 60% due to travel restrictions, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium. Ryanair, a budget airline, had the most flights in the UK in 2021, with over 1 lakh, followed by easyJet with over 82,000.
The international flight service was largely impacted for the second year due to COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements. The busiest international route, according to the report, was between London Heathrow and New York JFK. In November of this year, the United States launched an international flight service. Travelers from the United States, on the other hand, have been able to fly to the United Kingdom since July 28. The flight between Land’s End in Cornwall and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly remained the busiest domestic route in the UK.
The future of air travel for next year is uncertain due to an increase in cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant. Thousands of flights have been cancelled in recent days, according to media reports. More than 2000 flights have been cancelled globally in the last 24 hours, with another 3000 being cancelled on Tuesday, including incoming and outgoing flights to the United States, according to The Guardian, citing the flight-tracking website FlightAware. Between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, over 6000 flights were cancelled, according to the report.
Instances of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the United Kingdom. In the last 24 hours, the country reported 183,037 new COVID cases, up 50,000 from the previous day’s total. On Wednesday, a total of 57 COVID patients were reported dead. According to data from the Ministry of Health, the total number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities is 12,559,926 and 148,089, respectively. As a result of the new variant, the country has seen a sharp increase in hospitalizations in recent weeks. People should get vaccinated against the virus and follow COVID-19 safety measures, according to the government.