International holiday bookings rose 600% after Britain presented plans to gradually ease restrictions on coronaviruses.
The news gave struggling airlines and tour operators hope that a great summer could come to their rescue.
EasyJet said flight bookings from Britain have jumped more than 300% and holiday bookings have jumped more than 600% week after week after the UK government said yesterday that travel could resume at from mid-May.
Holiday company TUI UK said its bookings had increased by 500%, while holiday and budget airline group Jet2 said its bookings had increased by 600%.
This summer is a watershed one for many airlines and vacation companies struggling to survive on nearly a year of almost nonexistent revenue due to pandemic restrictions. Without it, many will need additional funds after they have burned up cash reserves.
Bookings poured in last night and this morning despite continued uncertainty over exactly how and when international routes may reopen, contributing to some stock prices.
While UK tourists are among the biggest spenders in Europe, the presence of a more infectious variant of the coronavirus in the UK could alarm some countries.
France and Spain have closed their borders to most British travelers due to variations.
British holidaymakers will know more on April 12, when the government publishes a travel review. He said a lockdown ban on most international travel would remain until at least May 17.
This should give airlines time to plan their summer schedule, a process that takes months.
EasyJet said travel to beach destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Palma in Spain, Faro in Portugal and the Greek island of Crete were the most popular destinations with holidaymakers most eager to travel in August, albeit July. and September are also popular.
TUI said destinations in Greece, Spain and Turkey were the most booked overnight, with people choosing to depart from July.
The month of July and the start of the school holidays were also popular for Jet2, which said mainland Spain and its islands, as well as Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, were the top destinations.
Travel site Skyscanner said flight bookings made yesterday were 69% higher than the day before, with visitors to its flight check website surging 55% immediately after the announcement by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.
Spain was the first destination.
“Our data shows that travelers are very well informed about updates regarding restrictions. We see this latest news translating into increased travel demand, ”said Hugh Aitken, Skyscanner Flight Director.
Britain’s return to normal is facilitated by rapid progress on its vaccination plan. More than 17.7 million people, or a quarter of the population, have already received a first dose of the vaccine.
The government is also considering options for vaccine passports.
Airlines and travel agencies are hoping such progress will mean that from May 17 the UK will end its holiday ban and remove a 10-day quarantine requirement, a big deterrent for holidaymakers and some of its Covid-19 testing rules.
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