The summer holiday season could be “exceptionally strong” due to an “enormous amount of pent-up demand”, according to easyJet boss Johan Lundgren.
The low-cost carrier’s chief executive said the key factor would be the industry working with the government to manage the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in a “safe way” during the coming months.
Lundgren was speaking alongside the chief executives of four other UK-based carriers during an Airlines UK presentation designed to encourage the government to include the resumption of international travel within next week’s “road map” out of the pandemic crisis.
He said that going on an overseas holiday was “top of mind” for UK consumers this summer.
“As long as restrictions are in place, pent-up demand increases,” added Lundgren. “When it comes back, it comes back in an enormous amount.”
Tui’s David Burling said it was “too early to predict” for this summer with bookings dependent on the “paring back” of current restrictions as the number of Covid cases reduces and more people are vaccinated.
“As restrictions come off, demand will come back – there’s enormous pent-up demand for travel,” he added.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said that governments in key summer destinations were also looking at how to open up to visitors this summer.
“Countries are starting to think about how they are going to restore aviation and the movement of people in international travel,” he said.