Holiday giant Jet2 has said the relaxation of UK travel restrictions led to a significant increase in bookings in February and March, although the firm still expects a bumper loss for the past year.
The company said bookings for the period approached “seasonal norms as customer confidence in travelling internationally rallied”.
The West Yorkshire-based travel firm said it was also positive about the summer, reporting “encouraging” booking patterns and highlighted that its flight capacity was 14% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
In a statement, it said: “Average load factors for the summer 2022 season are currently 2.5 percentage points behind summer 2019 at the same point (against the 14% increase in seat capacity), with booking momentum accelerating, customer confidence continuing to grow and pricing robust, as customers treat themselves to their long anticipated and well-deserved holidays.
“We have worked hard to plan recovery for summer 2022, investing well ahead of the season to ensure we have adequate resources to operate with our normal levels of customer care.”
It came as Jet2 said it expects to post a pre-tax loss of up to £383 million for the year to the end of March.
Jet2 said it saw an increase in passenger numbers in October and November last year after the Government dropped the pandemic traffic light system.
However, it said improving customer sentiment faded in December and January as trade was affected by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the reintroduction of some travel restrictions as a result.
Becky Lane, equity analyst at Jefferies, said that Jet2 is now expecting a loss slightly smaller than predicted by analysts.
Shares in the company increased by 3.4% at the start of trading as a result.