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Hopes for Europe's summer

Airline industry executives are cautiously optimistic that Europe's accelerated vaccine rollout will allow travel restrictions to be lifted and spur a strong rebound in trips to the continent this summer.

The United Kingdom reopened its borders for international leisure travel on Monday, but travellers are still required to take Covid-19 tests at their own expense — and quarantine on return in some cases — placing holidays abroad out of reach for many.

Despite obstacles to travel, aviation bosses are hopeful that restrictions will ease further as Europe ramps up its vaccination drive after a slow start. That could lead to a much stronger summer for travel within Europe this year compared to 2020, when the industry was grappling with closed borders and frequent changes to travel guidance.

"What's different this time is the success of the vaccination program," EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said on Monday. "That is being rolled out quite efficiently and swiftly now across the rest of Europe."

Image - Adrian Dennis

Europe recorded a 70% decrease in arrivals in 2020, or more th