Thomson and First Choice says Easter holiday sales to some destinations are up as much as 73% year on year as holidaymakers escape the UK’s freezing weather.

The operator says it has seen the strongest demand for Easter sun holidays in a decade, with more than 36,000 people travelling abroad with the Thomson and First Choice brands this weekend.

Garry Wilson, managing director of purchasing for Thomson and First Choice, said: “With predicted highs of 24 degrees in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands and 20 degrees in Hammamet, Tunisia on Easter Sunday versus just six degrees in London and four degrees in Manchester, it’s easy to see why people are heading south for the long weekend.”

Online bookings to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands are up 73% year on year. Bookings to Greece are up 45% and Tunisia 37%.

Thomson has seen a 60% increase in online searches compared with the same period last year.