Holiday Bookings Surge after UK Lockdown Exit Revealed

Wednesday, 24 Feb 2021

Holiday Bookings Surge after UK Lockdown Exit Revealed

Airlines, travel companies, and tour operators have revealed bookings and interest have surged following the British PM Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown announcement on Monday.

EasyJet, Ryanair, TUI and Thomas Cook say bookings to popular holiday destinations including Spain and Greece have spiked following the announcement that revealed international trips could potentially resume from 17 May.

Airlines have faced great financial stress over the past twelve months with many, including easyJet, axing jobs and altering contracts in efforts to reduce losses. With Monday’s news, however, shares in the Luton-based carrier have risen 7% while British Airways’ owner IAG saw an increase of 3.5%.

Bookings for easyJet flights have jumped 337% with package holidays to destinations like Malaga, Faro, and Crete growing 630% compared with the previous week. August is providing the most popular time with travellers, followed by July and September.

Johan Lundgren, the easyJet chief executive, said that this booking surge “shows the signal from the government that it plans to reopen travel has been what the UK consumers have been waiting for.”

TUI said breaks to Greece, Spain and Turkey jumped 500% overnight. Pent-up demand for these destinations, as well as Italy, has been reflected at Ryanair with a spokesperson calling it an “encouraging trend” that showed the importance of “providing customer confidence”.

With the ban on international travel not set to be lifted until 17 May at the earliest, Easter plans are cancelled with a travel taskforce set to reveal more about the resumption of travel abroad come 12 April.

Thomas Cook say website traffic jumped 75% while bookings tripled. Aside from holidays in Europe, long-haul trips to Dominican Republic and Mexico are proving popular into 2022.

Jet2 meanwhile say summer bookings have leapt 600% since Monday afternoon compared with the same time last week with noticeable increases from July through the rest of the school holidays.

The domestic travel market has also received a further boost with data from Avvio showing a 38% rise in the value of summer bookings at UK hotels and self-catering accommodation. The hotel technology provider said that high-end staycations were booming, with August revenue up 350% compared to last year.

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