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AFP
February 24, 2021

EasyJet bookings soar as England readies lockdown exit

Top Story

AFP
February 24, 2021

LONDON: EasyJet shares rallied on Tuesday on rocketing flight bookings for the British airline over the past week, given a boost by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to begin easing England’s virus lockdown shortly.

Bookings soared 337 per cent by late Monday compared with a week earlier, EasyJet said after Johnson’s announcement.

EasyJet shares rallied around five per cent on the London stock market—and there were solid gains for European rivals.

Johnson’s four-month roadmap to ease lockdown curbs by the northern hemisphere summer has also sparked hopes of easing restrictions elsewhere in Europe.

“The prime minister... has provided a much-needed boost in confidence for so many of our customers in the UK with demand for flights up 337 per cent and holidays up 630 per cent already compared to

last week,” EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement.Shares prices of other major European airlines jumped, with Ryanair winning 1.9 per cent.British Airways owner IAG, whose portfolio includes also Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia, gained around one per cent.

In the eurozone, Air France KLM soared 3.9 per cent and German giant Lufthansa advanced 1.1 per cent.

“Airline shares roared higher on the promise of a salvaged summer season,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson, noting however that “international travel will remain problematic and subject to restrictions, isolation and testing”.