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Taylor Swift fans are causing a spike in European air travel, United says

New York CNN —
Air travelers, are you ready for it? The official kickoff for summer this weekend is going to get even busier, thanks in part to Taylor Swift.
United Airlines revealed that demand for flights to Lisbon, Portugal, where Swift is performing for her “Eras Tour,” shot up 25% for this weekend compared to last summer — and the surge is going to continue for the next few months as fans flock to Europe to for concert tickets that are thousands of dollars cheaper compared to the US.
Bookings to other European cities where’s she’s performing in the coming weeks, including Madrid, Edinburgh and Dublin, are also surging, a United representative told CNN.
United’s flights to Milan and Munich for Swift’s shows in July have captured the biggest increase in demand – upwards of 45% more passengers compared to last year.
The airline flies to all of these cities from its East Coast hubs at Newark and Dulles, with some other destinations additionally linked from its other hubs in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago’s O’Hare and Houston.
Delta Air Lines told CNN demand is on the rise for flights to her European tour. The airline said it is prepared as it flies its largest-ever international summer schedule by adding destinations and restoring routes that were cut because of the pandemic.
Both airlines are bracing for record-breaking summer travel overall. Delta and United said it will fly nearly 3 million people during Memorial Day weekend, lasting from Thursday to next Monday, a 5% increase from last year.
Airlines for America, a group representing major US airlines, predicts record numbers of passengers this summer, with carriers expected to fly 270 million passengers — up 6% from last year.
‘Swiftonomics’ meets travel
The increase in bookings is just another example of “Swiftonomics,” the pop icon’s ability to influence the economies of the cities and countries that she visits on her mammoth global tour.
More than 1 million Swifties will attend the superstar’s shows in the United Kingdom later this summer, with the typical fan expected to spend £642 ($810) on travel, accommodation and other expenses, injecting a total of £755 million ($953 million) into the economy, according to a recent Barclays report.
“When it comes to cultural icons like Taylor Swift — like we saw with Elvis and Beatlemania in the 50s and 60s — supporters have such a strong connection to the artist and to the rest of the fandom that the desire to spend becomes even more powerful,” Dr. Peter Brooks, chief behavioral scientist at Barclays, said in the report.
-CNN’s Anna Cooban contributed to this report.



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