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Want to visit Britain? ‘Brexit’ sends airfares to U.K. plunging by about 15%, study finds

Big Ben
Red buses travel past the Elizabeth Tower, center, which houses the “Big Ben” bell in the Palace of Westminster in central London. Airfares to Britain have dropped since the Brexit vote, a new study found.
(Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images)

Airfares from the U.S. to Britain have dropped about 15% since the U.K. voted to pull out of the European Union last month.

But a study by Boston flight research site Hopper.com said fares to other destinations in Europe also have dropped, suggesting that other factors are at play besides the so-called Brexit vote and the resulting drop in the value of the British pound.

The study found that flights from the U.S. to Edinburgh, Scotland; London; and Manchester, England, dropped  7% to 18% in price since the Brexit vote. But flights to Paris, Madrid, Rome and Frankfurt, Germany, comparably dropped 14% to 17%.

One possible explanation is that airlines cut prices after noticing that demand softened for many European destinations following the terror attacks, the Greek debt crisis and the refugee emergency, among other events, said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist for Hopper.

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The Brexit vote may have been the last straw, he said.

“It looked like a deliberate act by the airlines,” Surry said. “It seems like we’ve already had various reports early in the summer that people were seeing lower demand.”

How long will the lower fares last? That depends, he said, on how fast Americans snap up the discounted fares to Europe.

“It seems unlikely that they are going to drop lower than they are now,” Surry added.

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hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.


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