Germany’s Lufthansa Group says an easing of COVID restrictions has seen demand for US flights increase by 300 percent and bookings to popular European holiday destinations triple.
The significant surge in demand for airline tickets comes as entry rules for Germany were recently adjusted so that quarantine rules no longer apply for people entering from risk areas who present a negative coronavirus test.
Germany now accepts PCR tests taken in the last 72 hours and antigen tests taken in the last 48 hours.
The airline is lifting the number of flights to the US after bookings to New York, Miami and Los Angeles increased in recent weeks by 300 percent and is once again flying to Orlando and Atlanta.
But Lufthansa says it still needs a clear perspective on how travel to the US will open up.
“People are craving for vacation and cultural exchange as well as reuniting with their families, friends and business partners – and, in this context, especially for flights between Germany and the USA,’’ Lufthansa executive board member Harry Hohmeister said.
“Because of the great significance of transatlantic air travel for the global economy, we now need a clear perspective on how travel between the USA and Europe can return on a larger scale.
“Lower number of infections and a rising rate of vaccinations allow for a cautious increase in transatlantic air travel. Since certain European countries have already made corresponding announcements, Germany also needs a plan for opening up transatlantic air travel.”
In Europe, Lufthansa and offshoot Eurowings are adding hundreds after a surge in bookings to holiday destinations such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Lufthansa will for the first time fly non-stop from Germany to 12 destinations in Greece and Eurowings has added more than 500 additional flights to popular destinations.
It has seen bookings triple in the past seven days with routes to Spanish holiday hot spots Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Barcelona seeing demand exceeding even 2019 levels.
“Flights to the Balearic Islands and the Greek islands are particularly in demand,’’ it said.
“Eurowings has therefore added more than 500 additional flights to Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza or Greece.”