TUI has warned that holiday prices for summer 2021 are already more expensive than last year due to demand.
The tour operator says prices are up 14 per cent because of a surge in bookings and a subdued 2020 holiday season due to coronavirus.
TUI told the Independent: “There was no Easter business, no travel at Whitsun and only very limited summer business.”
They also warned that they have already sold half of their May holidays for next year, meaning a half-term holiday for families could be limited in choice and price.
Brits have been given fresh hope of holidays going ahead next year thanks to the vaccine rollout.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said they are likely to resume from 2021, and that he has already booked his own.
- TUI summer holidays to Greece – from £216pp
- TUI summer holidays to Turkey – from £278pp
- TUI summer holidays to Spain – from £291pp
He said: “I do have high confidence that the summer of 2021 will be a bright one without the sort of restrictions that made the summer of 2020 more restrictive.”
Kate Bingham, the head of the vaccine task force, agreed, saying: “My gut feel is that we will all be going on summer holidays.
“It is likely that those people most at risk will be vaccinated through to April, and then the [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] and the Department for Health will then consider how to broaden out the vaccinations to other adults.”
“I think by the summer we should be in a much better place to get on planes.”
However, travel experts have also warned that prices will only start going up.
Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary said the pandemic has caused a “big capacity shake out in Europe” which has led to airlines wanting to return with “less capacity and much higher prices” when travel resumes.
He said during a conference yesterday: “Unless we add additional capacity, then fares will rise.”
Emma Coulthurst from holiday price comparison site, TravelSupermarket said there are “unlikely to be the rock bottom prices which you can currently snap up” when the vaccine is rolled out and quarantine rules end.
She added: “People have had their confidence buoyed by recent vaccine announcements and have started locking in holidays for 2021 now and we expect that to continue as people have some time off over Christmas.”
Brits could face problems entering Europe next year due to Brexit and the pandemic.
Pandemic safety regulations allowing Brits free travel within the European Union will stop applying to the UK at the start of 2021.
The EU is only allowing essential travel from non-EU countries with low infection rates during the pandemic – and the UK won’t apply.