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Air fares soar ahead of green list decision

On the eve of the government’s announcement of “green list” countries, air fares to some destinations predicted to be quarantine-free are soaring.

With Portugal widely expected to be one of very few accessible nations in the low-risk category, the lowest British Airways fare from London Heathrow to Faro on 17 May is £530 one-way – more expensive than a BA round-trip to New York, for which travel is heavily restricted.

At present all holidays from the UK are illegal, but the restriction is to be eased – from England at least – from 17 May.

British Airways has two flights to the Portugal Algarve on that date, at 8.40am and 2.15pm. The lowest fare on both is £530 one-way, with two seats left on the first and three on the second.

In comparison, a ticket on the sole BA flight from London to New York that day, returning a week later, is £517 – covering a distance seven times further.

Because of the way British Airways prices its tickets, a return from Heathrow to Faro, departing on 17 and returning three days later, is £473 – saving £57 on the one-way fare by buying a round trip.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “Like so many of our customers we’re excited about returning to the skies and we’ve been offering some incredible deals that have been quickly snapped up.

“In the airline industry the price of tickets rise as the lowest fares sell out.

“Our customers are also booking with confidence, safe in the knowledge that if their plans change, they can move their flight dates or ask for a voucher for future travel.”

The evening BA flight returning from Faro to Heathrow on 17 May is just €60 (£52).

On the same day, easyJet has a morning flight from Gatwick to Faro, currently priced at £309 – though only four seats are available at this fare.

An evening easyJet departure from Luton to Faro is £234, with three seats remaining.

The corresponding journeys returning from Faro on that date are €49 to Gatwick and €33 to…

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