LONDON (Reuters) – EasyJet said flight bookings jumped over 300% and holidays bookings surged by more than 600% week on week, after Britain laid out plans for international travel to restart, hinting that borders could reopen from mid-May.
The Britain-based airline said trips from the UK to beach destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Palma in Spain, Faro in Portugal and Crete, Greece, were the most popular destinations with holidaymakers keenest to travel in August.
July and September were the next most popular months.
The bookings came despite ongoing uncertainty over exactly how and when international routes can reopen.
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.
Britain’s vaccine plan is progressing rapidly and over 17.7 million people, or a quarter of the population, have already had a first dose of the jab.
That gives hope to airlines and travel companies desperate to start earning revenues after pandemic restrictions that the UK will be able to roll-back holiday bans and quarantine restrictions and allow travel from mid-May.
Foreign governments also need to agree that British holidaymakers can visit without the need for quarantine. Currently France and Spain, for instance, have shut their borders to Britons due to new variants of coronavirus.
(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle)