Travel firms celebrate surge in Canary Islands bookings after restrictions eased

23 October 2020, 20:38

Travel firms have reported a surge in bookings after Covid restrictions were eased
Travel firms have reported a surge in bookings after Covid restrictions were eased. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Travel firms have celebrated a surge in the number of people booking trips to the Canary Islands just 24 hours after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.

Travel companies such as easyJet, Hays Travel and On the Beach reported a dramatic increase of traffic on their websites since the change in Government policy was announced on Thursday night.

One firm, Tui, said the number of people searching online for trips was seven times higher than usual just hours after the announcement and that a quarter of those booked to travel to the Canaries are departing this weekend.

Holidaymakers returning from the Spanish islands no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on Sunday after the destination was added to the list of travel corridors.

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Tui Managing Director Andrew Flintham claimed this "phenomenal reaction" demonstrated "just how much people want a holiday".

He went on: "Our half-term bookings have soared since the announcement, with 25% of those booked to travel to the Canaries departing for the islands (on Saturday) or Sunday.

"We're really pleased to be able to take customers away for a much needed break to our most popular mid-haul destinations.

"This is a positive step forward and we hope we can now look forward to the introduction of airport testing which will allow us to open up more destinations in the coming weeks."

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EasyJet is also putting on more flights to the Canary Islands from Gatwick, Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

The airline is offering more than 180,000 additional seats to the Canary Islands up to the end of March 2021.

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EasyJet country manager Ali Gayward said: "Since the Government's announcement we've already seen a surge of demand for flights and holidays to the Canary Islands.

"We know that there is customer demand, they want to travel and this demonstrates they will do so when travel restrictions are relaxed."

Hays Travel said the total number of visits to its website were up 53% due to the announcement, while On the Beach reported that nearly three out of four bookings it is receiving are for trips to the Canary Islands.