Time to cast your holiday dreams to next summer - Alastair Dalton

Over this last weekend before the schools go back for many families in Scotland, perhaps a fair few will reflect on the fact their summer holiday wasn’t on a foreign beach or resort this year.

Although technically possible over the last few months, the cost of Covid testing, fear of infection, the need to quarantine after visiting some countries and the sheer uncertainty of travel restrictions changing at short notice put many people off going abroad.

Some will be hoping for an October getaway instead during the next school break, but there’s every likelihood that many of these hurdles will remain in place, extending the dampening of demand.

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Instead, families and others eager to leave these shores will be mentally planning for next summer instead – and I hear the travel industry think that’s the most realistic chance to return to any significant growth.

Covid-related hurdles have deterred many Scots from holidaying abroad this summer

For those dreaming of a far-flung adventure, there was unexpected news this week, that Virgin Atlantic is to switch its long-established Florida flights for the theme parks of Orlando from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and also launch direct services from the capital to Barbados for the first time.

That’s not just the resumption of a pre-Covid link from Scotland but a surprise expansion.

And while Edinburgh’s gain is Glasgow’s loss, The Scotsman revealed that another airline such as Tui is expected to fill the gap in the west.

Glasgow Airport, long in the shadow of its now busier east coast rival, will also have been relieved at the return this week of its flagship international route to Emirates’ Dubai hub, albeit with only four flights a week rather than the previous twice-daily operation.

I hear of further signs of recovery with Turkish airline Corendon planning to fly from Glasgow to Antalya and Dalaman next summer.

At Edinburgh, as we reported last month, bullish Ryanair is in talks to expand beyond its 78 routes there by basing more aircraft at the airport.

Covid may have triggered the biggest aviation crisis for decades, but having reported on the impact of several other severe jolts like the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I take the long view.

People want to travel, and as soon as they can, they will again.

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