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British Airways Says Rains Spur 75% Christmas-Sale Surge

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- British Airways said bookings at its holiday division jumped 75 percent on Christmas Day versus a year earlier, spurred by a wet winter and pent up demand after Britons spent the summer at home for the London Olympics.

Sales were also 58 percent higher on Dec. 26, BA said, with top destinations including Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida, the Caribbean islands of Barbados and St. Lucia, and the Persian Gulf sheikdom of Dubai, as well as city breaks in New York, Rome, Venice, Barcelona and Berlin. Bookings may reach an annual peak next week as more people return to work, the carrier said.

Britain endured its second-highest rainfall on record in 2012, with April and June posting all-time highs and Dec. 8 the wettest single day, the Met Office said today. People meanwhile skipped overseas holidays to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee celebrations and the Olympic Games in July and August.

“The festive season has shown a trend in early booking,” BA, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, said in a statement. “After the U.K.’s summer of sport in 2012, and one of the wettest years on record, British Airways Holidays is expecting Jan. 7 to be the biggest booking day.”

U.K. rainfall last year averaged 1,330.7 millimeters (52.4 inches), 6.6 millimeters short of the record set in 2000 for data stretching back to 1910, the Met Office said in a statement. 2012 was the wettest year ever for England and the third-wettest for Wales, according to the government forecaster.

IAG traded 0.1 percent higher at 193.10 pence as of 12:38 p.m. in London after advancing 4.4 percent yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Jasper in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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