Turkey is the top-selling summer 2022 destination for easyJet holidays’ trade channels – despite its current red list status.
Brad Bennetts, head of distribution, told a Travel Weekly webcast that Turkish destinations, especially the Mediterranean resort of Antalya (pictured), were “number one by far”.
“For 2022, the trade share of business is really strong, new bookings are really doing well,” he said.
Looking at holiday and accommodation types, he said four-star all-inclusive hotels and family trips were leading the way.
Summer 2021, however, has posed challenges but he said late sales have “really picked” up.
“October half term is extremely popular,” he added.
“The Algarve and Majorca particularly are standing out from a summer 21 perspective.”
He said trade sales for winter are showing “really strong growth”, despite the challenges of Egypt and Tunisia still being on the red list.
“But we are seeing the likes of the Canaries really pick up that volume; Tenerife, in particular, is proving really popular,” he commented.
Also selling well for this winter is Iceland, as the airline has a “great network to Reykjavik” and holidays are “well priced”.
The operator is also seeing two “different stories” with booking patterns, he added.
“Right now, people are booking to depart within three or four days’ time, as soon as they can get a test and go, really last minute, right now. There is absolutely demand there,” he said.
“The forward booking profile is really strong; new bookings are as far as October next year. September and October  are proving really strong as well.”
Manchester is the biggest airport from a trade customer perspective, and there is also strong support from Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol, he commented.
The operator is marking the first anniversary of the launch of trade sales by offering trade exclusive discounts, prize holidays and places on its first fam trip, heading to Tenerife in November.
During the pandemic, the operator identified “pinch points” for travel agents and worked with them to change policies and support the trade.
“That was largely down to the fact that we were a new company we were able to be agile and flexible,” said Bennetts.
Now it is looking at how it can emerge from the pandemic “stronger and better” and Bennetts is keen to hear feedback from agents about how easyJet holidays can support them.
He hopes the operator will soon expand beyond the UK market to offer holidays to consumers in other countries, “using the strength of the airline, the brand and the network”.
The company also aims to diversify and offer more new products but at the moment it is “nurturing” its current programme.
“We have launched new products over the last 12 months. We launched our lakes programme which has gone really well – Lake Como, for example – that signifies how we are looking to diversify,” he commented.
“When the time is right we will move that forward.”
Picture credit: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock