Airlines report huge boom in sales as Brits travel overseas

Grant Shapps says UK being ‘cautious’ over travel list

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Plane tickets from New York were up by nearly 250 percent in a week, said one airline. European routes also spiked as families and friends made plans to reunite. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab indicated there will be more good news next week, saying: “I think we are increasingly confident that more countries will go either on amber or on to green.”

He defended imposing extra restrictions on Britons returning from France despite the decision being taken partly because of the rise in cases of a variant on Reunion, a French island 6,000 miles from Paris. He said: “It’s not the distance that matters, it’s the ease of travel between different component parts of any individual country.”

France is the only EU country from which people vaccinated under the UK programme must self-isolate for 10 days when they return. Fears are growing that Spain could be added to the “amber plus” list, too.

US and EU travellers with approved vaccines will be able to visit from Monday without the need to quarantine.

Paul Charles, from travel consultancy The PC Agency, said bookings from Portugal, Italy and Greece had surged.

Virgin Atlantic’s Juha Jarvinen said: “Flight bookings are up by more than 100 percent week-on-week, with bookings from New York to London increasing by nearly 250 percent.”

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