Just 20%

By | Category: Travel news

It wasn’t the fact that easyJet made a thumping great loss, the first in its history that caught my attention when that news was released. It was the fact that – for the first three months of the year in 2021 – it would fly at only 20% of its capacity.

Just 20% of flights will travel in the first part of 2021

The significance is that the airline doesn’t see any upturn in air travel in the early part of the year. And since easyJet is also quite widely used by tour operators as part of a holiday package it means that it believes that the number of people holidaying won’t pick up either.

Despite the cheering news from Pfizer and Moderna, the considered view is that it will take so long to vaccinate people if – and that “if” is vital – the vaccines are cleared for use, that holidaying before the end of March looks to be on a slight chance.

Forecasters certainly see a big upturn for summer holidays next year but for those destinations offering winter sun or snow cover breaks it looks as though they will have to wait until winter 2021/2022 for a bounce-back.

Ryanair was a little more optimistic when it announced its figures a few weeks ago in opting for “no more than 40%” of its capacity and additional flights for those studying at UK educational facilities to return home for Christmas.

Nonetheless, despite very large share rises for those listed travel companies, prices are nowhere near they were before the pandemic crucified travel. The city forecasters don’t yet see a quick return to popularity for travel.

Politicians are still wary about what Christmas travel we can make although all four governments  -and separately Ireland – are trying to find a way of relaxing travel restrictions for a little while around December 25th but only if they don’t have to order significant lockdowns immediately afterwards.

Britons can now travel to just a few places but last week, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, said that we would not know where we can travel for Christmas until late November when a preliminary report will be issued. That suggests there will be final decision later, probably December so making any bookings now seems to be premature.

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