The freedom and ease of air travel has made it the most popular option for Brits looking to travel abroad. With the number of Brits flying in 2018 being over 77 million and exceeding the UK population, air travel has never been more popular.
In 2018, over 77 million Brits took to the skies.
Air travel made up 85% of visits abroad by UK travellers in 2018.
The number of flights taken for the purpose of going on holiday has increased by 40% since 2010.
Number of flights by travel purpose
The graph below shows that leisure is the number one reason that Brits fly.
Brits flying to go on holiday make up almost three quarters (73%) of all air travellers, making leisure the most popular reason for air travel. Outside of leisure, 7% of Brits are flying for business, and almost a fifth (19%) of people are flying for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives.
The number of holiday flights over time
As well as holidays being the most popular reason for flying, the number of holidays being taken by air travel is increasing.
From 2010 to 2018, the number of flights taken for the purpose of going on holiday increased by 40%. The greatest increase in flight numbers was between 2014 and 2015 when flight numbers increased by 11%.
The UK’s most popular airlines
A recent study asked respondents to list which airlines they had booked flights with in the past 12 months. Some respondents reported that they had flown with more than one airline during this time.
easyJet proved to be the most popular airline, with almost half (44%) of all people replying that they had flown with the airline in the last year. Following this, British Airways and Ryanair were both included in almost a third of the overall responses (29% and 28%, respectively). The remaining airlines had 16% or fewer positive responses.
The UK’s most popular flight providers
The majority (55%) of people surveyed booked flights directly through the airline’s website as opposed to with a flight comparison website.
Of the comparison sites, Skyscanner was the most used, with 34% of people choosing to book flights this way. Expedia was the next most popular, with 28% of responses. The next five most popular sites each had around 10% of respondents choosing them.
Georgia-Rose is a publisher at Finder.com and specialises in all things shopping and travel. She has years of experience working in retail and tourism and as an avid budget traveller, she loves helping people find the best deals on everything from plane tickets to sunglasses.
When she's not jetting off somewhere new you'll find her watching cake videos or befriending stray cats.
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