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European Flights Fly Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Driven by discount airfare tickets and a COVID-19 digital passport, European air travel has seemingly begun to bounce back from the pandemic, according to a Thursday (Aug. 26) Wall Street Journal article.

As of last week, flights within Europe had declined 27 percent versus the same week in 2019, according to the report. That rate marked the smallest change since March 2020, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and when airlines began limiting service.

In the U.S., prior to the advent of the fast-spreading Delta variant, air travel had begun inching back toward pre-pandemic levels. International and domestic travel was up in May, yet still lower than the levels seen prior to the pandemic, according to PYMNTS. In May, total demand for air travel was down 62.7 percent as compared to May 2019. Yet, that was higher than the 65.2 percent decline in April 2021 as compared to April 2019.

Read more: Air Travel Up In May But Still Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

As more travelers take to the skies for flights, Venice is considering instituting safeguards to ensure fewer visitors at any given time. As PYMNTS reported this week, the city is contemplating efforts aimed at controlling tourism and preventing what officials deem over-tourism. Beginning in summer 2022, Venice is looking to charge an entry fee ranging from $3.52 to $11.73, depending on the season, to limit the number of visitors. In addition, the city may also require travelers to book ahead of time and enter Venice through electronic turnstiles.

Related news: Venice Eyes Tourist Entry Fee, Advance Booking for 2022

Another sign that consumers are traveling more readily is noted in Booking Holdings’ second-quarter room nights, which increased 59 percent compared to the first quarter of this year.

Booking Holdings’ second-quarter gross travel bookings were $22 billion — an increase of 852 percent from the early stages of the pandemic. The company credits the increase in room bookings to domestic and international booking trends in Europe as vaccination rates climb higher.

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