People are more comfortable about flying than at any time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic a year ago, new research by Swiss bank UBS indicates.

Some 39% of respondents quizzed in the week to 6 March 2021 for UBS’s Evidence Lab US Reopening Consumer Survey said they would be comfortable travelling, which was the highest positive number since the survey’s inception in April 2020, said the bank.

Adding to airline optimism will be improving booking trends, UBS added.

April and May’s data showed bookings relative to a year ago were  ‘meaningfully below 50%’ compared to falls of more than 70% previously.

UBS added that while easing comparatives are now playing a role in the week-to-week improvement, but adjusting for this there was still a 6% and 10% week-on-week improvement in domestic booked traffic for March and April.

“We expect the tone across the airline management teams at investor conferences next week to be bullish in reflecting these improving booking trends (along with the stimulus bill in hand).”

Shares in British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG)  eased 1% to 209.7p, EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ)  was also 1% down at 1,020p while Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) shed 2.5% to €16.22.

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