Agents call for airlines to release 2021 schedules early

Agents have called on more airlines to extend the typical 11-month booking window on flights so they can make bookings and rebookings for summer 2021.

The move came top of a poll of ways to “kick-start” the travel industry amid the coronavirus pandemic on trade Facebook group Travel Agent Rants and Raves.

Some airlines and operators have already extended the booking window, with Jet2holidays releasing summer 2021 packages earlier than ever before.

EasyJet has put its winter 2020-21 schedule on sale early, but only for travel up to the end of February 2021.

Group administrator Jenny Jackson, who owns LuxuryTravelGuru, called for airlines to put flights on sale 18 months in advance of departure.

She said: “We all know 2020 is a virtual write-off but we need to rebuild now for 2021. Thousands of us [travel agents] have clients desperate to book for 2021 but sadly our hands are tied, however we can do this if certain plans were put in place.

“We can save our industry, airlines, and millions of overseas jobs if we put a plan of action in place now.

“This is something as an industry we have been crying out for as the 11-month prior to departure schedules do not help when clients want to book well in advance.”

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