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13th August 2009

Record last-minute bookings mark end of 2009 'BBQ Summer Staycation'

Record last-minute holiday bookings reflect Brits' disenchantment with staying close to home, reports leading regional airline

Flybe, Europe’s leading regional airline and the UK’s number one domestic carrier, says that record numbers of last-minute holiday bookings clearly show that British holidaymakers are finally acting on their disenchantment with having been sold the ‘BBQ Summer’ that never materialised: they are taking positive steps to counteract the outrage over the empty message that it was better to stay at home for their 2009 summer holidays with the dream of sunny days in the back garden - the ‘Staycation’ – all so quickly dashed by the weathermen who called it all so wrong.

The airline reports that close-in bookings in the past few weeks are up 12% over 2008 for last-minute summer breaks. The message is loud and clear - people are now desperate to enjoy a change of scene away from home before the holidays are finally over – the 2009 ‘BBQ Summer Staycation’ is officially dead!

Flybe says that the most popular destinations being snapped up are currently Spain and Scotland, the latter being boosted by those travelling to the Edinburgh Festival with overall passenger numbers forecast to be 25% up over last year to the 14 Scottish airports it serves.

Another emerging trend indicates that festival-goers are also extending their mini-breaks by taking advantage of Flybe Connections that allows them to conveniently connect with Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair, and fly on to enjoy a break in the Shetland and Orkney Islands.

An innovation that has proved hugely popular since its introduction last month  is Flybe’s ‘Today’s Specials’ that – updated daily - highlight on its home page www.flybe.com last-minute seat deals  such as today’s Southampton to Alicante offer for bargain-priced  seats for travel next week.

Says Mike Rutter, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer: “With the summer almost over, the increase in last-minute seasonal passenger numbers clearly indicates that people are determined to travel away for some sort of a break no matter what, if only for a few days. So we are officially consigning the 2009 ‘BBQ Summer Staycation’ well and truly to the history books!

 “Flybe’s commitment to offering an increasing selection of affordable quality travel choices to the regions is reflected by the record increase in last-minute bookings. Those still looking to get away are advised to check out our last-minute bargains on www.flybe.com so they don’t miss out.”