Monday (March 8) marked the first easing of coronavirus restrictions in England since 2020.
The slow easing of restrictions means we could be back to normal life by the middle of summer.
Boris Johnson’s roadmap has raised hopes that a holiday abroad could be on the cards for Brits looking for some summer sun in 2021, according to Kent Live.
Despite the relatively slow roll-out of the vaccine around Europe compared to the UK, many people have rushed to book their holidays to popular summer destinations like Spain, Portugal and Greece.
But what are the airlines saying about the summer holidays?
Shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement, easyJet bookings rocketed.
Since then, easyJet has seen a 630 per cent rise in bookings week on week. Flight bookings have also surged, increasing by 337 per cent.
Beach resorts and destinations are among the top destinations for recent bookings this summer, including trips to Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro and Crete.
August is proving to be the most popular time for travel based on recent easyJet bookings.
In a survey of over 5000 European consumers last month, 65 per cent said they plan to travel this summer.
Like many other companies, easyJet has a ‘Protection Promise’ policy which gives customers flexibility with their bookings.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “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.
“And while the summer may be a little while off, we will be working around the clock to ensure we will be ready to ramp up our flights to reconnect friends and family or take them on a long-awaited holiday to remember.”
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Making up on lost time with the family is what Jet2 customers are planning on by going on family holidays this summer.
A poll of 2,000 adults shows that Brits plan to make up for lost time with their loved ones by taking the extended family with them on their next holiday.
One Poll’s study on behalf of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays found that hardly seeing their nearest and dearest during the past 12 months has left 68 per cent champing at the bit to do something special with them.
A spokesman for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “Spending quality time with family is incredibly special and something many people haven’t been able to do this past year. Quality time with loved ones -somewhere away from the same four walls – is what people are looking forward to more than anything.
“There certainly won’t be a shortage of things to catch up on, and while this past year has been incredibly challenging, families are clearly looking forward to enjoying an extra special break together and creating some fantastic memories.”
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Jet2 have responded to demand from customers looking to enjoy some Greek sunshine in late summer by adding more flights and holidays to Zante, Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes and Kefalonia, extending the summer 21 season and providing customers with more choice.
Summer 2021 bookings have increased more than 1,000 per cent in the 24 hours following the announcement, with bookings continuing to surge for destinations across the board, including Mainland Spain, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. There is a notable increase in bookings from July, which continues through the rest of the school holidays and summer ’21.
According to market leader Crystal Ski, not only have beach holidays seen a mass surge in bookings off the back of the government’s roadmap announcements, but the trend has also been seen in increased demand for ski holidays.
Managing Director, Chris Logan, explains: “We were already seeing significant demand for next season, with bookings well ahead of where we would expect to be in late February/early March.
“And the Government’s roadmap announcement has further fuelled this. The entire holiday industry is seeing a surge, and for Crystal Ski Holidays, that’s meant a daily uplift of around 30%, on top of already strong sales, since the timeline was outlined last Monday.”
Managing director of TUI Andrew Flintham also confirmed that the operator had seen a 500% surge in bookings overnight to Greece, Spain and Turkey.
He said: “The announcement from the Prime Minister on 22 February was positive and shows that by working with the travel industry on a risk-based framework our customers will have the opportunity to travel abroad this summer.
“We will continue to work closely with the government so people can look forward to a well-deserved break after what has been a tough year for many.”
Ryanair, too, has seen a massive shift in demand and bookings and has also recently launched loads of new destinations.
Eight new routes for the summer will connect Belfast to a host of popular international summer destinations.
The airline has also launched over 700 winter routes for 2021/22, including sun, ski and city destinations.
In a statement to the Irish Times last week, the budget airline said that interest in holiday destinations in Spain, Greece and Italy had increased shortly after Boris Johnson addressed the nation.
Have you booked your summer holiday? Let us know in the comments.