Amadeus records highest travel bookings in March

The Spanish travel group saw an uptick in air bookings and passengers boarded despite Covid-19 related restrictions

A tourist poses for a picture next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Spanish travel booking group Amadeus said on Friday its booking volumes in March were the highest since the coronavirus pandemic began last year. EPA
A tourist poses for a picture next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Spanish travel booking group Amadeus said on Friday its booking volumes in March were the highest since the coronavirus pandemic began last year. EPA

Spanish travel booking group Amadeus said on Friday its booking volumes in March were the highest since the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on the airline industry.

Despite movement restrictions still imposed in many parts of the world, Amadeus said it saw an uptick in air bookings and passengers boarded.

"Volume-wise it was the best performing month since February 2020. Into April, we have seen further improvement," chief executive Luis Maroto said in a statement.

Shares in the Spanish group rose 3.9 per cent as of 0740 GMT, leading Madrid's blue-chip index.

The world's biggest provider of travel booking services, however, said air travel bookings by travel agents in the first quarter were still 60 per cent below their level a year earlier. The number of passengers boarded via its IT solutions business fell 67 per cent to 127.2 million.

The contraction in air bookings was 79 per cent in the fourth quarter and 90 per cent in the third.

The tourist industry is urging governments to reopen international travel as the vaccination rollout speeds up. But surging Covid-19 cases in India and elsewhere, fears of new virus variants and the complexity of organising health checks could all hamper a recovery.

Global passenger traffic improved in March but revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) was 67.2 per cent lower compared to the pre-crisis level, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.

The industry body now expects global air traffic to recover to 43 per cent of the pre-crisis level in 2021.

Amadeus swung to a slightly narrower than expected adjusted loss of €83.1 million ($100.2m) in the first quarter. Analysts had expected a quarterly loss of €93.5m.

Published: May 8, 2021 08:00 AM

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