Tui Group expects bookings to grow above-average for summer 2022.
Long-haul travel trends are already emerging for summer, with higher demand for holidays to the US, Maldives, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic.
Tui Deutschland management board chairman Stefan Baumert was reported by Reuters as saying: “The announcement of the opening of the USA to tourists alone has spurred demand. Incoming bookings already show that clearly.”
His comments came as International Airlines Group chief executive Luis Gallego revealed a rebound in transatlantic bookings following the opening of US borders on November 8.
“Now as the world opens up, we are growing our capacity,” he told the Airlines UK conference in London.
“Transatlantic bookings have already reached almost 100% of 2019 levels. I expect North Atlantic routes to reach full capacity by next summer.”
The boss of the British Airways owner said he expected to return to pre-pandemic flying levels by 2023.
However, Gallego warned that a bid by Heathrow to hike its fees could hinder recovery, suggesting that 40% of passenger who use the London hub to transit to other destinations could use alternative airports.
“If the rise in landing charges goes ahead, I know IAG would not be alone in reconsidering our airlines’ use of Heathrow as a port,” he said. “Right now, aviation is trying to emerge from its worst crisis ever. UK operators need to be able to compete.”
He described the airport as a “global hub of aviation”, serving 84 airlines, 203 destinations and 80 million people. But it is 44% more expensive than its European counterparts, with “some of the highest landing charges of any airport in the world”.
Gellego added that “what we need is a cost-efficient Heathrow, one that would benefit travellers, benefit businesses and benefit the UK economy.
“Global Britain needs a global hub. And it’s up to our political leaders to make sure of it.”
Data from travel insurance company Allclear revealed that 57% of people actively want to go back to travelling, a 46% increase compared with last year.