Major operators are claiming a bookings surge following the pencilling in of 17 May as the date for the resumption of international travel.
EasyJet Holidays, Jet2 and Tui claimed bookings increases of 500-600% compared with the previous week, although none would give firm figures.
EasyJet Holidays claimed a 630% rise in sales, with the airline seeing a 337% jump. Malaga, Alicante, Palma and Crete were top destinations.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “The Prime Minister’s address has provided a much-needed boost in confidence for so many of our customers in the UK.”
Jet2 recorded “a notable increase in bookings from July” among a 600% spike in sales. The airline and operator said summer 2021 bookings were strong across Spain and its islands plus Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
Flights and holidays will resume on 17 May unless there is a spike in infections.
Steve Heapy, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays chief executive, said: “We have seen enormous pent-up demand from British holidaymakers for some time, with people wanting nothing more than to get away to the sunshine and enjoy their well-deserved holidays.
“We are very pleased that the government has shown a clear ambition to reopen international travel in the coming months, and we look forward to more detail in due course.”
Andrew Flintham, managing director, Tui UK and Ireland, said the operator had seen a 500% increase in bookings.
“We know there’s a huge demand to travel, with demand for Greece, Spain and Turkey from July onwards the most booked overnight,” he said.
“In line with the UK Government’s latest lockdown announcement, all Tui holidays from England will not operate before 17 May. We will be contacting impacted customers directly, in departure date order, to discuss their options, which will include amending to a later date with an incentive or cancelling and receiving a full refund.
“We know our customers are looking forward to their holidays, so to offer continued flexibility and reassurance, we have extended our free changes policy to the end of June. Those due to travel between 17 May and the end of June can change their booking to a later date fee-free.”