International holiday bookings surged by as much as 600% after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the roadmap out of lockdown.
Ryanair, easyJet, TUI and Thomas Cook reported a jump in bookings to destinations including Greece, Spain and Turkey.
August breaks are the most popular, followed by July and September.
“The Prime Minister’s address has provided a much-needed boost in confidence for so many of our customers in the UK with demand for flights up 337 percent and holidays up 630 percent already compared to last week and beach destinations proving most popular for this summer,” easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said.
Thomas Cooks Chief Executive Alan French dubbed the PM’s roadmap ‘good news’ with the company seeing booking ‘flooding in’.
Johnson said a travel taskforce would set out plans on 12 April on the return to international travel “so people can plan for the summer”.
The ban on international travel will not be lifted until 17 May at the earliest.
However, Professor Graham Medley, who is the UK’s chief pandemic modeller, said he wouldn’t book a holiday until 2023.
“I think it’s a time of caution and we have to see. While we’re doing very well with the vaccine in this country, other countries are not doing so well,” he said.
When asked why he would not book a foreign holiday for 2022, he added: “Not at the moment. I wouldn’t book anything. I think the whole situation’s going to be uncertain for a long time. We’ve got more optimism and certainty now in this country than we have for most other places.”