"Greece has soared in its summer appeal to British visitors, while France and Portugal have slipped down the league table of European sunspots" writes the Independent after analysing the latest passenger data from the Civil Aviation Authority – for July 2022.
According to its findings, Spain is the clear winner, with 3.55 million passengers flying to and from UK airports, with Greece in second place, with 1.33 million arrivals and departures.
Noel Josephides, chairman of Sunvil Holidays, said: “Greece handled the pandemic far better than anyone else and were welcoming and were prepared to stay open when others were not.
The Independent's research findings:
Italy saw 979,702 departures and arrival, with Turkey just behind at 930,915.
France is usually the second-most popular destination for UK travellers overall, but in terms of flights it takes fifth place: 809,476 people flew to or from the nation. However, many more British holidaymakers cross the Channel by sea or rail to France.
The table of airline passenger numbers is very different from the pre-Covid figures for European holidays taken using any means of transport, with Portugal slipping to sixth place.
There were 734,595 arrivals and departures from Portuguese airports (including Madeira and the Azores). The figure is slightly lower than the total for Spain’s Canary Islands.
After the first half-dozen destinations from the UK, there is then a very large gap before Cyprus (306,010) and Croatia (248,225)
Completing the European top 10: Bulgaria (161,863) and Malta (101,851).