Opodo parent eDreams ODIGEO has seen monthly bookings exceed pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a trading update issued today, Europe’s largest online travel group, revealed June bookings were 2% up on June 2019.
This built on improving numbers in recent months following January when bookings were down 75% year-on-year. May saw significant improvement to 22% down from 51% down the previous month.
The firm described the performance as a significant achievement as the recovery from COVID-19 gathers pace despite ongoing restrictions on international travel.
It said the positive position is being driven by “a growing travel market together with the business’ enhanced strategic positioning and increased competitive advantage”.
In a statement eDreams said: “Following the success and acceleration of vaccination programmes across the company’s core markets, consumer confidence is rebounding at a strong pace.
“As a result, the pent-up demand that accumulated during the pandemic is now translating into bookings for travel, which is leading the business to see meaningful improvements in its year-on-year trading, now even above pre-pandemic levels from June 2019.”
Average basket values remained down 29% on 2019 levels in June despite the rebound in volumes rapidly.
EDreams said: “Due to restrictions and uncertainties there is a disproportionate amount of consumers booking short haul, with less passengers per booking and thus lower booking value.
“While the long term outlook for leisure travel is very strong, over the next few months there may still be volatility. It is clear that the pandemic has not affected the desire for leisure.”
Alongside the trading upturn, eDreams announced that its Prime subscription service has now surpassed one million members mark having added 150,000 subscribers in the last month.
Current Prime numbers stand at 1.2 million. Prime is available to eDreams, Opodo and GO Voyages customers, offering members savings to the value of €250 per trip.
It launched in 2017, and during the pandemic new members were offered a six-month free trial and existing members could renew their membership for 12 to 18 months at no additional cost.
Dana Dunne, chief executive of eDreams ODIGEO, said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have always been certain that the softening in demand for leisure travel was strictly temporary and that the desire to travel remained undiminished, which has led to significant levels of pent-up demand.
“Our trading update today shows that this accumulated demand for travel is now flourishing strongly, and we are being successful in capturing it after having strengthened even further our strategic positioning and unique customer proposition over the past months.
“As expected, the acceleration of the vaccination programmes around the world is boosting consumer confidence in travel.
“Customers are returning to the market and are choosing our brands to do so, and an increasing number of travellers now commit to a long-term relationship with us as subscribers of our unique Prime programme.
“We have consistently said that we would emerge stronger from this crisis, and we are delivering on this promise.
“Our performance, with such encouraging trading, demonstrates that we are optimally positioned to be a post-pandemic winner.
“I firmly believe that as a digital first, leisure travel focused business we are ideally placed to continue to go from strength to strength as restrictions ease further and people rediscover the joy of travel for years to come.”