These 20 destinations offer the strongest protection against flight cancellations

These 20 destinations offer the strongest protection against flight cancellations

palma mallorca holiday destination - Getty

palma mallorca holiday destination – Getty

There is a degree of trepidation about jetting abroad for a summer vacation this year. Airports – stressful at the best of times – have been overwhelmed by the return of mass tourism, resulting in long queues at security checkpoints, while staff shortages have meant hundreds of UK departures are canceled each week, some with less than an hour’s notice.

Sun-seekers are understandably keen to avoid the chaos and Telegraph Travel has given plenty of advice on this. A flight with Ryanair would be a good place to start. It has proven to be virtually insensitive to the problems observed elsewhere. When we analyzed figures for a single month (7 May to 6 June) we found that the Irish airline had canceled just one in 4,366 UK departures, compared to one in 26 for easyJet and one in 46 for Wizz Air , and one of 92 for BA. Seasoned travelers may also want to avoid Sundays (Saturdays are a far better bet) and evening shifts (11am is the ideal spot for a successful departure).

But there’s another tactic that could save your summer break: choosing a popular route. Of course, it does not guarantee that your flight will not be cancelled. But it gives you the best chance of easily finding another route to your final destination if that worst-case scenario occurs.

So which routes from the UK will be best served this summer? We asked OAG, the leading aviation analyst, to provide the data. When it comes to attractive holiday options (with all due respect to Dublin and Frankfurt, they are hardly gateways to sun and sea), Spain is the clear winner.

In the week commencing July 18, there are a notable 551 departures from UK airports to Palma de Mallorca, 411 to Malaga, 357 to Alicante, 285 to Barcelona, ​​251 to Tenerife and 233 to Ibiza. A total of 3,102 flights to Spain will leave the UK this week. Assuming that each will carry around 200 passengers, that’s around 620,000 sun-seeking heat-seekers. Attention, the British are coming!

To illustrate, imagine that your 7:20am EasyJet departure from Gatwick to Mallorca on 18 July is cancelled. Given the number of flights being scrapped from the West Sussex hub, this is not beyond the realm of possibility. Wipe away the tears as there are alternative flights from Gatwick at 0905, 1155, 1405 (all with EasyJet), 1510 (with BA), 1610 (EasyJet), 1705 (Wizz), 1750 (EasyJet), 2035 (Tui) and 2155 (EasyJet) as well as a variety of options from other London airports. You will end up drinking your weight in sangria.

Faro, the capital of Portugal’s Algarve region, is another decent bet, with 357 aircraft flying there from the UK in the seven days beginning July 18.

Two Turkish destinations, Antalya – with 254 departures – and Dalaman – with 236 – are also in the top 20 (see table below). Among the Greek islands, Crete, with its two major airports, Heraklion and Chania, is the most in demand with a total of 178 flights, followed by Corfu (156), Rhodes (140) and Zakynthos (88).

Crete Holidays Greece - Getty

Crete Holidays Greece – Getty

Maybe you don’t want to follow the herd, and a vacation in a Spanish honeypot is your idea of ​​hell. But there are quieter resorts that are a short drive from the most popular entry points. In Mallorca, for example, there is Santanyí in the south-east of the island, a town as peaceful as it is pretty, with plenty of opportunities in its overlooked interior. When you arrive in Malaga, you can escape the crowds of the Costa del Sol by heading north to the sleepy but spectacular Sierra Subbética Natural Park.

At the other end of the capacity scale are five destinations with a single service from the UK for the week beginning July 18: the Greek island of Samos, the German city of Lübeck, Gaziantep in southern Turkey, Calvi on the north-west coast of Corsica and Brest, a Breton one port city. If your flight to one of these locations is canceled you will struggle to find an alternative that doesn’t involve walking around the houses.

Other weakly served destinations are the Faroe Islands, Ohrid (Northern Macedonia) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – each with two departures per week – Dresden (Germany), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Bastia (Corsica) – with three – and Lesvos (Greece) , Rijeka (Croatia) and Figari (Corsica again) – with four. Corsica seems oddly underrated given its size, proximity and undeniable charms. The eight weekly services to the island during peak season (four from Gatwick, three from Heathrow and one from Stansted) compare to 52 to Sardinia and 68 to Sicily.

In total, according to the OAG, 13,269 flights are scheduled to depart from British soil for European lands in the third week of July, with 3,431,327 available seats, while for the three-month period from July to September the figure is 174,944 flights, with seating for 45,516,926 holidaymakers. No wonder the travel industry is struggling with this.

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