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Easyjet shares soar as company sees 200% increase in booking searches

Kumutha Ramanathan
·2-min read
An EasyJet aircraft takes off from Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport in Malaga, southern Spain, August 29, 2009. Some Easyjet maintenance staff went on a 24-hour strike on Saturday to demand better job conditions, even though overall minimum service was guaranteed. REUTERS/Jon Nazca (SPAIN TRANSPORT BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
Brits have also been taking advantage of EasyJet's Black Friday sale to book trips for next spring and summer. Photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters

EasyJet (EZJ.L) said it is has seen a 200% increase in searches for both flights and holidays over the Christmas period as the UK government eases travel restrictions.

Domestic bookings have been up “significantly” week on week as customers focus on spending time with friends and family, said the company in a statement on Thursday.

“We know underlying demand is there, which we see every time travel restrictions are lifted,” said chief executive officer Johan Lundgren.

Shares were up 2.1% at around 12:20pm in London.

Shares were boosted on Thursday by the easing of travel restrictions.
Shares were boosted on Thursday by the easing of travel restrictions. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

The news comes as the UK’s transport secretary recently announced that people arriving in England from abroad will be able to reduce their quarantine period by more than half if they pay for a private COVID-19 test. UK prime minister Boris Johnson also recently said that England will come under three-tiered regional restrictions when the second lockdown ends on 2 December.

The air carrier has been struggling in the face of UK lockdowns and wider travel restrictions, leading to it reporting a £1.27bn ($1.72bn) annual loss last week and thousands of jobs being cut to cope with slumping demand.

“Nice to see easyJet outperforming the [FTSE] index on an otherwise quiet day,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group.

He added that “investors still seem keen to buy into these [airline] stocks — while they aren’t as cheap as they were a month ago they are still cheaper than eight months ago!”

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The company said sales have been boosted by its Black Friday Sale that began on Wednesday.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers remains our highest priority and during the pandemic this is more important than ever so we continue to have a number of safety measures in place onboard in line with guidance from the relevant authorities,” said Lundgren.

“This includes daily enhanced cabin disinfection effective in protecting against coronavirus for at least 24 hours and mandatory mask wearing for customers and crew.”

All aircrafts have also been fitted with HEPA filters, similar to those used in hospitals.

The company said it expects them to “filter 99.97% of airborne contaminants in the cabin, including viruses and bacteria.”

Brits have also been taking advantage of the sale to book trips for next spring and summer, with beach favourites Faro, Palma, Alicante and Malaga as well as Turkey and the Canary Islands among the top destinations.

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