Airlines expecting a significant jump in bookings following vaccine news

Airlines tipped to see healthy jumps in passenger booking activity on the back of the recent positive news regarding Covid vaccine breakthroughs.
Airlines expecting a significant jump in bookings following vaccine news

Aer Lingus and Ryanair are expected to see a surge in passenger bookings following positive Covid vaccine news.

Aer Lingus, Ryanair, and EasyJet are all tipped to see healthy jumps in passenger booking activity on the back of the recent positive news regarding Covid vaccine breakthroughs.

All three have been coy on guidance, but the CEO of UK airline EasyJet said his airline saw bookings surge 50% last week compared to the previous week on the back of positive news surrounding potentially successful vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech. 

Johan Lundgren said momentum has continued this week on the back of similarly good vaccine news from Moderna.

However, Mr Lundgren cautioned that while the positive vaccine news was a boost, it was still “early days” and he said he could not forecast when travel would pick-up.

“There is no visibility really beyond the quarter, because this is all down to the travel restrictions,” he said on the back of EasyJet publishing a £1.27bn (€1.4bn) loss for its latest financial year.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have both been equally cautious and short-term on growth guidance, but Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said this month that a return to 75%-80% of pre-crisis passenger levels could be possible by next summer due to positive vaccine news.

Davy analyst Stephen Furlong said any good news on vaccines as well as progress on testing and any removal of quarantine laws “is going to lead to significant increases in booking enquiries”.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus said the airline is hopeful that positive developments regarding vaccines, and the implementation of the European traffic light system for travel across Europe, “will help to encourage greater demand for international travel in 2021”.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus owner IAG has, reportedly, managed to cut the purchase price for Spanish airline Air Europa to €300m-€400m from €1bn.

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