People are understandably plagued by the travel bug a lot these days! Britons were flocking to reserve their vacations abroad after the UK government released its phased plan for Covid-19 easing of restrictions. This rush caused troubled touring firms and airlines a much-needed fix and a glimmer of hope of the summer season of 2021.
Bookings were happening left and right on Tuesday – right after Boris Johnson and his administration made public their plan to steadily reintroduce the old way of living. Among other things, they announced that traveling may begin again from the middle of May. There are already some favorite destinations among Britons, with Spain and Greece at the helm.
EasyJet said to the media that bookings of flights from the UK for this summer season went up by a whopping 300 percent compared to just seven days ago. Moreover, the purchases of summer vacation packages went up by over six hundred percent compared to seven days ago!
TUI, the popular vacation firm, said that their bookings went up 500 percent compared to the same time last week, and the airline group Jet2 reported bookings jumping up by over 600 percent!
While none of the firms talked about specific numbers, one can imagine the numbers were abysmal last week. Outside the pandemic, the winter period is a popular time for booking holidays, but that didn’t happen this season.
One must bear in mind that this summer season is a key one for a number of vacation and airline names that are struggling to stay afloat in an industry almost completely frozen by the pandemic. If there are no extra funds or stimulus packages from the government, they may likely sink.
Nobody is sure how exactly will international routes reopen once more, but the jump in bookings will assist the travel stocks regardless.
easyJet, IAG (which owns BA) and Jet2 all saw a jump in their stocks, from 1.5 percent to 8 percent, thanks to the government’s announcement.
Although Britons are known as huge spenders in Europe, that may not seem as enticing tourists to other countries due to new strains of the coronavirus stemming exactly from the UK. France and Spain are both still closed off for British tourists.
Those wanting to travel will need to sit and wait for April 12, when the government will publish some additional travel reviews. The ban on international travel will most probably persist until May 17 earliest.
Airlines are hoping to get that timeframe, in order to prepare for the summer season – a process that those business usually take months to do well.
Skyscanner was another company that saw a jump in their activity on Monday and Tuesday – they had almost 70 percent more bookings that the days before. The most popular destination? Spain.
Over at TUI, wannabe-tourists were flocking to book Greece, Spain and Turkey, from July onwards. British Airways said to the media that the traffic on their website jumped up by three times thanks to the announcement of the easing of restrictions.
Those who opted for EasyJet’s services are aiming to travel in August to beach resorts. The airline also put on a sale for trips for spring and summer 2022, in an effort to repair some financial damage it has suffered as a firm during 2020 and 2021.
UK is thriving in its vaccination efforts, and that is exactly one of the things fueling this explosion in travel bookings. Over one quarter of the population received the first dose of the vaccine, and the government is seriously thinking about issuing vaccine passports.
But, one must not forget that not all countries are that quick and efficient in the vaccination efforts and all of that may influence the recovery of international tourism. That may cause other nations not to open their borders up so willingly.
All in all, vacation and airline companies are crossing their fingers and hoping that Europe will open up and that, starting from May 17, the United Kingdom will end its vacation ban and abolish the ten-day quarantine requirement, which is a huge deterrent for a number of travelers.