EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) said some festive flight bookings have perked up this week on the expectations of government reducing coronavirus restrictions.

The budget airline said bookings for flights from London and Bristol to Belfast, and London to Edinburgh had risen, and that searches for overseas flights and holidays for next summer surged 200% compared to last week.

Under the second lockdown, which ends on December 2, most international travel is banned.

From next Thursday people will be free to travel abroad, although while demand remains low because of the pandemic and quarantine rules.

However, from the middle of next month, people arriving in the UK can cut their quarantine to five days from 14 if they test negative for COVID-19.

Downing Street also said this week that for five days over Christmas, restrictions across the UK will be relaxed to allow families to celebrate together.

“We know underlying demand is there, which we see every time travel restrictions are lifted,” easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement.

“We continue to closely review our flying programme to ensure we are aligning our schedule with customer demand.”

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