Leading airlines today joined the Black Friday sales rush with discounts across their networks.

British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic all issued promotional prices as part of the pre-Christmas sales activity.

Norwegian is cutting rates by up to 30% in a ‘cyber weekend’ sale with transatlantic flights starting at £129 one-way and European departures from £25.90 on cyber Monday.

Virgin Atlantic is undercutting arch rival BA on some long-haul routes, with Dubai returns starting at £320 against BA’s Black Friday deal of £339 while Hong Kong flights have been cut to £429 against BA’s promotional rate of £449.

Ryanair is cutting 20% of five million seats for bookings made by midnight on Sunday for travel between next month and April 2018.

Sample one-way rates from Stansted start at £5.99 to Olsztyn-Mazury in Poland, rising to £39.99 to Chania in Greece.

EasyJet fares have been cut by up to 30% with many one-way rates from Gatwick at less than £25.

Norwegian chief commercial officer, Thomas Ramdahl, psaid: “We are delighted to make travel even more affordable with incredible savings to exciting global destinations from the UK and Ireland during the cyber weekend.

“These fantastic offers will allow holidaymakers to take advantage of our low fares and fly in comfort on one of the youngest and greenest fleets in the industry”.

Independent agents have criticised major tour operators for offering Black Friday deals to direct customers.

Princess Cruises is offering a three-night cruise for £299 per person and seven-night sailings for £499 in a Black Friday promotion, including seven departures by the 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess from Southampton in 2018.

UK and Europe vice president Tony Roberts said: “We’re renowned for offering the best deals during Black Friday, with a week’s holiday on one of our stunning ships available for the same price as a weekend stay in London.

“Two people sailing together from the UK can secure their dream seven-night cruise for under £1,000, while a group of four can travel for less than £1,200.”