New research from ForwardKeys has revealed flight bookings to the USA have soared following two announcements that the destination would reopen to vaccinated foreign travellers in November.
By mid-October, weekly bookings exceeded 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
The first announcement was made on September 20th, when the White House said that visitors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, the 26 Schengen countries, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil would be allowed to enter the USA, without being subject to quarantine, provided they were fully vaccinated.
That caused an immediate reaction, with week-on-week bookings from the UK jumping 83 per cent, from Brazil jumping 71 per cent, and from the EU jumping 185 per cent.
The second announcement was made on October 15th, when Kevin Munoz, assistant press secretary to the US president, named November 8th as the date restrictions would be relaxed.
Week-on-week bookings climbed higher still, jumping 15 per cent from the UK, 26 per cent from the EU and 100 per cent from Brazil.
Juan Gómez, head of market intelligence, ForwardKeys, said: “This data yet again demonstrates the enormous pent-up demand for travel.
“Immediately people heard that they would be allowed to visit the USA again; they booked; and a substantial proportion booked to fly as soon as they could.
“It is also interesting to note that bookings climbed higher once a specific date was given.
“That is not entirely surprising for two reasons. First, the certainty of a specific date inspires confidence.
“Second, those wanting to travel before the end of November could not afford to make a commitment until they knew for sure that they could travel when they wanted to.
“I am optimistic that in the coming weeks, we will see a steep increase in bookings to the USA for the Christmas period.”