Airlines and tour operators have reported a surge in demand following Boris Johnson’s roadmap to ease coronavirus restrictions.
A government task force is due to submit a report by April 12th recommending how to resume international travel for people in England with the option of vacation abroad from May 17th.
In the hours following the Prime Minister’s announcement, easyJet said bookings from UK customers for the summer season were more than four times higher than the same period the previous week.
The low-cost airline’s vacation division saw an even bigger increase. The demand increased sevenfold. The most popular destinations for this summer are beach resorts like Malaga, Alicante and Palma in Spain, Faro in Portugal and the Greek island of Crete.
August is the most booked month, followed by July and September.
Johan Lundgren, EasyJet CEO, said: “We have seen time and time again that the demand for travel is pent up and this surge in bookings shows that this signal from the government to reopen travel was what UK consumers were looking for have waited.
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“The Prime Minister’s address gave so many of our customers in the UK a much needed confidence boost. The demand for flights has already increased 337 percent and vacation numbers are up 630 percent compared to last week, and beach destinations are proving to be the most popular summer. “
He added: “While the summer is still a little free, we will be working around the clock to make sure we are ready to ramp up our flights to reconnect friends and family or take them on a long-awaited vacation. “
EasyJet insists that customers can “book with confidence” as there is a flexible policy for making changes to itineraries.
Tim Alderslade, Managing Director of Airlines UK, the industry association representing airlines registered in the UK, added: “We thank the Prime Minister and the Department of Transport for the clarity that the whole sector has sought to reopen international travel this summer as soon as it is for sure is.
“This will provide much-needed security not only to airlines in desperate need of a summer season, but also to families visiting friends and family for a long-awaited vacation. We know that there will be a lot of catching up to do when we get back to business be able to record .
“We now look forward to working with Ministers and as part of the proposed Task Force on the practical details of how to remove current restrictions – some of the toughest in the world – and how to inform the sector as early as possible as possible before each reboot.
“As we have always said, this needs to be risk-based and proportionate, but it is based on the overarching assumption that as the vaccine rollout accelerates, a gradual relaxation of restrictions is achievable.”