A survey by pro-aviation coalition FlyingMatters has revealed that more than three-quarters of people say they can’t afford to visit friends and family abroad.

The poll cited cost as the main reason people are restricted in the number of visits they make. This was followed with 60% of people putting the blame on work and family commitments.

The national survey of more than 2,000 people, which was conducted by market research company Populus this year, also showed that nearly half the population say they have close friends and family living abroad.

FlyingMatters chairman Brian Wilson, said: “In today’s closely connected world it should be no surprise that so many of us have strong family ties to countries outside the UK.

“This poll shows that the cost of travel – overwhelmingly by air – is the main factor in how often we can see those we care about who live abroad.”

Wilson also said if people oppose the expansion of air travel,  this is likely to push up the cost of flying in the future.

Other highlights of the survey revealed:

  •  A quarter of people have never visited their friends and family abroad.

  • Two in five people haven’t seen their close friends and family for at least a year.

  • 15% of people haven’t seen their close friends and family abroad for at least five years, 29% haven’t seen them for at least two years.