As vaccination programs continue and more people get immunized against COVID-19, Europe is gearing up for a hectic summer season.
Between May and June, the number of aircraft idle on the continent for more than a week more than halved, according to FlightGlobal, as airlines prepare to send passengers on vacation.
Sixty-six percent of Europeans expect to travel this summer, according to the European Travel Commission.
While over 40% of those surveyed anticipate to travel within their own nation, airlines are optimistic about leisure travel this summer, as many passengers are eager to travel for the first time since the outbreak.
After operating at 40 percent capacity over the first few months of 2021, Iberia anticipates a busy summer period. The airline predicts that if travel restrictions are eliminated, there will be a huge surge in demand. The carrier has boosted the number of frequencies from Spain to Italy and Greece during the summer.
Iberia has also reinstated a number of routes between Madrid and South America, with over 90 weekly frequencies between the two countries. The airline flies 12 times daily between Madrid and Mexico City, as well as once daily to Lima, Santiago de Chile, Bogota, and Sao Paulo.
More South American travelers are likely to visit Spain for vacations now that Spain has opened its borders to vaccinated passengers. While vaccination rates in some countries are still low, more South American travelers will be able to visit Spain in the coming months as these rates improve.
Additionally, tourists who have benefited from vaccine tourism in the United States, which has a significant number of participants, are allowed to come to Spain with confirmation of vaccination.
Air France, which is based in neighboring France, has major plans for the summer season as well. During the summer, the airline will operate 81 seasonal trips, virtually doubling capacity in Greece and nearly doubling capacity in Portugal.
For long-haul, as the French Antilles opened to tourists again; Air France will operate up to three flights per week from Paris-Orly to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe, Fort-de-France in Martinique and Saint-Denis de la Reunión.
Air France is sending 22 planes back into service to help with this. In total, 181 Air France aircraft will be in operation this summer, representing 90% of its fleet.
In the meantime, Lufthansa has announced seasonal flights from Frankfurt to Paphos, Cyprus, Rijeka, Croatia, Lamezia, Italy, and Varna, Bulgaria. The German airline will travel to destinations such as Jerez, Spain, and Chania, Mykonos, and Zakynthos, Greece, from Munich.
From July 24th, Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary, Eurowings, will fly from Frankfurt to Anchorage, Punta Cana, and Zanzibar in Tanzania, with a stopover in Mombasa, Kenya.