European travel stocks soar after UK announces plan to end lockdown

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The town of Ermoupolis (also called Ermoupoli) is located on the Greek island of Syros.

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LONDON – European travel stocks soared on Tuesday morning as customers rushed to make new bookings after the UK announced its four-step plan to end coronavirus restrictions.

Shares of Tui, the German travel group, rose nearly 7% in the early hours of European trading. International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways and Iberia, also climbed more than 6% and shares of German airline Lufthansa jumped more than 4%.

The industry has been heavily affected by the coronavirus restrictions, with people being advised against traveling abroad and facing strict quarantine policies if they do.

However, on Monday afternoon, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his four-step plan to lift all social restrictions by June 21, which has led to an increase in new bookings.

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EasyJet said on Monday evening it recorded a 337% increase in UK flight bookings and a 630% increase in holiday bookings after the government’s announcement. Tui also said bookings increased 500% overnight.

There is a huge desire to be out there and see the world and that repressed will come back, it’s only a matter of time.

Keith barr

CEO of IHG Hotels & Resorts

Greece, Spain, Turkey and Portugal were among the top destinations for new bookings.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said in a statement: “We have constantly seen that there is pent-up demand for travel and this surge in bookings shows that this signal from the government that it is considering reopening travel is what that UK consumers have been. expecting. “

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Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of TUI UK and Ireland, said in an email that the Prime Minister’s announcement “was positive and shows that by working with the travel industry on a risk-based framework, our clients will have the possibility of traveling abroad. summer. “

The UK lifts coronavirus restrictions in four steps from March 8 with schools reopening, but the whole process will depend on how the epidemiological situation evolves.

The government also said it was reviewing restrictions on international leisure travel and would announce the changes on April 12.

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“We know there are clients who want to travel, there is a huge desire to be out there and see the world and that repressed will come back, it’s only a matter of time,” Keith Barr, CEO of IHG Hotels & Resorts told TBEN’s Squawk Box Europe on Tuesday.

“Am I going to make the day trip from London to New York for a three hour meeting? Probably not, so there will be an impact on business travel,” Barr said when asked. asked how the industry is likely to change in the post-A Warm World, but added that “but the vast majority of the field is going through this (crisis).”

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