City breaks 'popular thanks to low-cost carriers'

City breaks are now extremely popular in the UK, a trend that can be attributed to the growth of low-cost airlines, it has been claimed.

City breaks have become "extremely popular" in the UK and owe part of their success to low-cost airline growth, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.

Spokesperson Sean Tipton said that, before the emergence of no-frills airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair, a flight to Madrid cost up to £400.

This meant that most visitors would stay in a destination for a longer period to make the most of the money they have spent, but the current affordability of flights has led to a boom in demand for short breaks across Europe.

"The UK figure for foreign city breaks is 13 million. One of the main reasons for the increase in the popularity of short city breaks is the low cost carriers," Mr Tipton said.

"As soon as they started offering flights, prices dropped substantially, and that's not just their own fares; all the other airlines realised that if they were going to compete they had to lower their fares as well."

Ryanair claims to be Europe's largest low-fares airline and in the 12 months to October 31st this year carried 47.7 million passengers.

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City Breaks 'popular Thanks To Low-cost Carriers'