Customer confidence in travelling overseas this summer has returned strongly, according to Jet2 and Jet2holidays.
The UK’s second largest travel and airline group predicted “sunnier skies” ahead as it marked a year since the government first advised against all non-essential travel overseas in response to the Covid crisis.
Travel confidence has returned strongly over the past several weeks on the back of positive developments, according to the company.
“Our regular polling of thousands of customers shows that confidence has risen across all age groups. The number of customers booking flights and package holidays tells us that many people want nothing more than to get away this summer,” chief executive Steve Heapy said.
“The demand is there, and as ever we have been quick to respond to that, adding flights and holidays where necessary, to make sure we can take customers from our rainy islands to their favourite holiday choices to have the summer they deserve.
“The UK is the most advanced country in Europe when it comes to successfully rolling out a vaccine, and our destinations are very keen to welcome British holidaymakers back this summer.
“Ministers in destinations such as Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Portugal and Spain have shown how much they want to reopen to holidaymakers this summer, and this is great news for our customers.
“On top of that, the UK government has shown a clear ambition to reopen international travel in the coming months.
“We will assist the government in any way that we can to help achieve this, with safety as our number one priority. We, like everyone, look forward to April 12 when further detail is published.”
Heapy added: “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone. Although it has been a year since the first restrictions on international travel were introduced, we know that this means those well-deserved holidays will feel even more special when they return.”
The company refunded more than £1 billion in the past year to customers affected by travel changes during the pandemic.
Jet2 was recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority as the only UK airline to promptly provide refunds.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the pandemic represents the biggest crisis that the travel industry has ever faced,” Heapy said.
“Despite the events of the past year, some things have not changed. Since the first reports of Covid-19, every decision we have taken during this unprecedented period has been taken with our usual guiding principal in mind – putting our customers first.
“Our industry has been under the spotlight like never before, but our approach has resulted in praise from customers, consumer organisations, media and independent travel agents for our industry-leading and prompt refunding of over £1 billion to customers whose travel plans have been affected by programme changes during the pandemic.”