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Thomas Cook bookings take off as Britons plan summer holidays abroad

THOMAS Cook said yesterday it had seen a “considerable improvement” in summer holidays as sun-starved Brits booked trips abroad.

Reservations shot up by 30 per cent over the past four weeks as customers rushed to escape the cold weather conditions in the UK.

The holiday firm said summer trading was up across all its major markets year-on-year, while average selling prices also grew in the UK and northern Europe.

In the UK, the firm said cumulative bookings were ahead of planned capacity levels.

Turkey and Egypt are the most popular destinations for Brits – attracted by high quality accommodation and sunshine, according to the firm.

The UK division has now sold 54 per cent of its summer trips, compared to 53 per cent last year.

But the firm said it had five per cent less to sell over the season than 2009.

Chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novo said: “Bookings are getting stronger all the time and have been especially strong in the UK where some days we’ve been up as much as 85 per cent, for example Sunday of last week.”

He added that the reaction to Thomas Cook’s TV adverts featuring Redknapp and pop star wife Louise had been “incredible. Thomas Cook will continue running the campaign through the summer.