The coronation of King Charles III is fast approaching, bringing with it a three-day bank holiday, many visitors, and serious potential for travel chaos.
We all remember the endless queue that crisscrossed around London at the time of the Queen’s Lying-in-State, so it’s reasonable to assume the next royal event will gather significant interest too.
However, that interest might not translate into travel issues, according to John Grant, Chief Analyst of leading travel data company OAG.
Grant said, “With King Charles III’s upcoming coronation, many are expecting the streets of London to flood with visitors from all over the world, putting added pressure on the UK’s travel infrastructure, which is already on treacherous ground between staff shortages and ongoing strike action.
“For air travel specifically, it’s no surprise that people are apprehensive of any potential increase in demand, given last summer’s travel chaos and the delays and cancellations that followed in its aftermath.
“However, we are expecting the coronation to have little impact on demand over the weekend of 6 May.
“When similar large events were held in the UK, such as the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games, we tend to see demand broadly following the pattern of previous years, rather than spike unexpectedly.
“In fact, to take the example of the 2012 Olympics, traffic throughout the four-week event showed a slight dip in demand, as locals who may have otherwise been on holiday stayed at home to attend the games.
“Inbound travel was similarly less significant than expected, partly due to accommodation prices soaring following the announcement of the Olympics and hotels becoming inaccessible to the majority of potential visitors to the UK.
“With this in mind, we are not expecting airlines to increase capacity to accommodate visitors at the time of the coronation; they will be aiming instead to maintain their current capacity discipline and careful planning endeavours in the run-up to the holiday season, in order to avoid the logistical nightmare of last summer.
“This in turn will allow airports to cope admirably with current levels of traffic, avoiding any travel chaos on the Bank Holiday weekend.”
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