Airlines may seek to dedicate resources to improving or expanding their transatlantic services, as a new trend emerges in favour of long-haul services.
London Heathrow claimed that flights to the US were achieving the biggest rise in uptake, signalling a potential cooling off of the boom in European city-breaks and budget travel. According to Travel Mole, passenger numbers to Europe were stable over 2007, while travel to the US increased by three per cent, a trend also noted by London’s busiest air hub.
Damon Hunt, a spokesperson for Heathrow Airport, said: "The biggest trend that we’ve noticed in the last 12 months is a strengthening in our transatlantic traffic, so more people going to the US, and a dropping off of short haul, particularly domestic, traffic within the UK. We would definitely say there are a lot more people heading to the US and potentially that is because of the exchange rate." He added that the busy west London hub was at 99 per cent capacity at all times, making changes in travel trends more difficult to spot – a situation that could change when the long-awaited Terminal Five opens this spring.