One Flight Every 9.5 Minutes: U.K. to U.S. Travel Reaches All-Time High

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Skift Take

It might be Independence Day, but the sky-high ties between the two countries have never been stronger.

As the United States celebrates July 4 and the Declaration of Independence from British colonial rule, there are signs that the two nations have never been closer. 

New data shows that the number of flights between the U.K. and the U.S. will reach an all-time high in July. Analysis by Cirium forecasts 4,674 one-way flights between the two countries this month. On July 4 alone, almost 150 aircraft will depart the U.K. for the transatlantic crossing. 

For context, this means that throughout the month of July, a flight will depart the United Kingdom for America, on average, once every 9.5 minutes. 

The record-breaking numbers smash pre-pandemic highs, with flights up 1.5% this month versus the same time in 2019. Looking even further back, July 2024’s numbers are up more than 21% compared to a decade earlier. 

Which Airline is the Biggest Player?

A total of ten airlines are scheduled to fly passengers between the two countries this month. British Airways leads the pack in terms of total departures, with hometown rival Virgin Atlantic following in second place. 

American Airlines, United, and Delta take the third, fourth, and fifth spots respectively. Other carriers plying relevant routes include JetBlue, Norse Atlantic, Aer Lingus, TUI, and Singapore Airlines. 

While London Heathrow has the lion’s share of routes, Gatwick, Manchester, and Edinburgh airports are among those also offering nonstop flights to the United States.

An Uneven Result

While the overall number of flights has never been higher, a deep-dive of Cirium data by Skift suggests that the picture is not universal across all airlines.

American, Delta, United, and TUI have actually registered small drops in total capacity between the two countries versus a year earlier.

However, big additions from Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and JetBlue have created a net increase year-on-year across all operators. 

It should also be noted that summer traditionally represents the peak of the transatlantic flying season. While July has more than 4,600 one-way departures between the two countries, January 2025 is projected to have less than 3,600.

JetBlue is among the big-name brands to cancel some London flights for the coming winter. Airlines may also choose to use smaller aircraft at quieter periods.

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance. 

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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