EasyJet sees surge in airline, holiday bookings after UK Covid plan
The UK government’s announcement of a roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions has sparked a surge in demand for airlines and travel firms with easyJet reporting a more than 300% spike in bookings.
A government taskforce is expected to report by April 12 with recommendations on how international trips can resume for people in England, with no travel likely until May 17 at the earliest,.
Foreign holidays could be permitted from May 17.
Budget carrier easyJet said bookings by UK customers for the summer season soared 337% compared with the same period during the previous week. Its holiday division reported a 630% increase.
The company said its most popular destinations for this summer were beach resorts including 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.
“We have consistently seen that there is pent-up demand for travel and this surge in bookings shows that this signal from the government that it plans to reopen travel has been what UK consumers have been waiting for,” said easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said.
He added that the company would be “working around the clock to ensure we will be ready to ramp up our flights”.
Lundgren said a survey conducted last month of over 5000 consumers across Europe showed that 65% were planning to or had already booked a flight in 2021.
“The pent-up demand seen among Brits was even stronger with 68% of UK consumers actively looking to travel in 2021. easyJet’s existing customers are even more likely to travel this coming year, with almost three quarters planning a trip.”
Online travel firm Thomas Cook said traffic to its website was up 60% during the three hours after the government’s statement.
Chief executive Alan French told the Press Association the announcement was “good news for those of us desperate to get away on holiday”.