Ryanair forecasts 'strong return' of beach holidays this summer

Ryanair forecasts 'strong return' of beach holidays this summer

The boss of Ryanair is forecasting “a strong return” for European beach holidays this summer thanks to the Covid-19 vaccination program.

Michael O’Leary said he expected travel restrictions to be dropped once high-risk groups were inoculated, unleashing “pent up demand”.

It came as the airline warned it was in the midst of “the most challenging year” in its 35-year history.

It expects annual losses of up to €1bn (£870m) for the year to March 2021.

Despite this, Mr. O’Leary told the BBC’s Today program that he was “heartened” by the fact the UK expected to vaccinate everyone over 50 by the end of March and that Europe would achieve the same by June.

“So we think once all those high-risk groups – the elderly, the NHS, nursing homes – have been vaccinated then the travel restrictions should be removed, particularly on short-haul intra European travel,” he said.

“So we expect to see a very strong return of British families traveling to the beaches of Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece in relative safety this summer.”

Last month, EasyJet said it had seen summer bookings rise by 250%, but it said the cost of pre-departure coronavirus tests – which cost up to £150 per person – was still a deterrent.

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