Holiday bookings soar as Britons hope to restart travel
London – International holiday bookings surged by as much as 600 per cent after Britain laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope that a bumper summer could come to their rescue.
EasyJet said flight bookings from Britain jumped over 300 per cent and holiday bookings surged by more than 600 per cent week on week after the government indicated on Monday that travel could restart from mid-May.
Holiday company TUI UK said that its bookings surged 500 per cent, while holiday and budget airline group Jet2 said its bookings were up 600 per cent.
This summer is make-or-break for many airlines and holiday companies which are struggling to survive with close to a year of almost no revenue due to pandemic restrictions. Without it many will need extra funds after burning through cash reserves.
Bookings flooded in on Monday evening and Tuesday despite ongoing uncertainty over exactly how and when international routes can reopen, helping some share prices.
Shares in easyJet were up three per cent in mid-morning trading, paring earlier gains of as much as 11 per cent.
While British tourists are some of the biggest spenders in Europe, the presence of a more infectious variant of coronavirus in the UK could alarm some countries. France and Spain have shut their borders to most UK travellers due to variants.
UK holidaymakers will know more on April 12 when the government publishes a travel review. It has said that a lockdown ban on most international travel will stay until at least May 17.
That should give airlines time to plan their summer schedule, a process which takes months. (Reuters)