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The Countdown To Christmas Has Officially Begun As Shoppers Head To London And Beyond For Festive Fare

Monday, 15 September 2014

While most of us are reluctant to let go of the summer vibe, especially with the sun still shining in some parts of the UK, it is difficult to believe it is now less than 100 days  until Christmas Day.

The Harrods’ Christmas Shop flung open its doors in July, many high street stores are stocking up on festive items and supermarkets have already begun the annual fight over who can sell tins of chocolates at the cheapest price. 

As shoppers begin to think about yuletide presents, a survey reveals that most intend to splurge and turn their festive shop into a weekend away this year.

The survey of more than 1,000 people reveals nearly two thirds of us look set to loosen the purse strings a little admitting they’re likely to spend more than they did in 2013. What’s more, 54 per cent are planning to make a weekend of it and kick-start their Christmas shopping away from home to find presents.

The top five highlighted destinations on festive shoppers’ wish-list include;

1)      London (42 per cent)

2)      Paris (26 per cent)

3)      Berlin (16 per cent)

4)      Edinburgh (7 per cent)

5)      Geneva (5 per cent)*

The independent research, commissioned by Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, revealed that London was the most likely destination for festive spending but also indicated that shoppers are willing to travel further afield to combine festive cheer with shopping.

According to the findings, the second weekend in December (13 – 14) is when most, 39 per cent, plan to make their get-away, although 24 per cent confessed they were likely to leave their shopping until Christmas Eve.

Paul Simmons, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, comments:  “Christmas seems to come round quicker each year; however people appear eager to make festive shopping more of an experience than a chore in 2014.

“Already we can see peaks in our bookings and certainly the second weekend in December is spiking in terms of seat sales across our network of routes but particularly into London City. It would seem Winter Wonderland, Westfield Stratford City and Harrods are all big draws into the London and people are planning ahead and booking early to make the most of the festivities this Christmas.”




Issued by the Flybe press office:  T: 0845 675 0681 E: pressoffice@flybe.com

Notes to editors

A random sample of 1,023 people were questioned across the UK


Will you spend more this Christmas?

Yes – 62 per cent

No – 34 per cent

Not sure – 4 per cent

Will you shop in your home town/city or travel to another destination to shop?

Home – 46 per cent

Away – 54 per cent

Ideally, where will you visit to complete your shopping?

  • London - 42 per cent
  • Paris - 26 per cent
  • Berlin - 16 per cent
  • Edinburgh - 7 per cent
  • Geneva - 5 per cent
  • *4 per cent of respondents provided answers outside of these destinations

When will you start your Christmas shopping?

Already started – 4 per cent

I’ll start in November – 5 per cent

First weekend in December – 15 per cent

Second weekend in December - 39 per cent

Third weekend in December – 13 per cent

Christmas Eve - 24 per cent 

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 190 routes serving 17 countries from 92 departure points, 36 UK/56 European airports* (all routes on sale Sep’14 – Mar ‘15);

operates more UK domestic flights than any other airline (UKCAA Aug’13 - July ’14); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Exeter, Inverness, Isle of Man, Manchester and Southampton airports (UK CAA July ’14); operates 70 aircraft – 45 Bombardier Q400, 14 Embraer 195 & 11 E175; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM and Finnair; has two franchise partners, Loganair and Stobart Air and was Amsterdam Schiphol’s Airline of the Year 2012 Europe.


* Flown under the Flybe brand (26 routes/12 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair: and seven routes and five airports exclusively operated by franchise partner, Stobart Air)