Spain's eDreams has reported an annual loss slimmed by more than a third as the Spanish travel booking company posted a 29% jump in bookings ahead of a bumper summer.
Its net loss fell to €43.3 million, the Barcelona-based firm said, while bookings rose to a record high 16.2 million.
"This past year was a reaffirmation of the pleasure of travelling. Demand is very strong for the summer," CEO Dana Dunne told Reuters.
"People prioritise ... travel over many other discretionary expenditure categories such as television, cars, expensive restaurants."
Besides the summer air ticket booking spree, despite the rising cost of living, and the return of Chinese tourists after the COVID-19 restrictions, eDreams has also gained market share.
Global air traffic in March reached 88% of March 2019 levels, the most recent IATA data showed, while eDreams' number of bookings in fiscal 2022 was already 42% higher than in the year before the pandemic.
An air ticket price increase prompted by the strong demand and more expensive jet fuel was moderate, Dunne said.
"Travel prices are higher than last summer as we were coming from COVID, but on average they are not massively above pre-COVID levels," he said.
Even though demand for small trips is strong, long-haul travel has not fully recovered, Dunne added. Metrics such as distance of the trip and number of days away on average have still not reached pre-COVID levels.
Revenue from eDreams' subscription model, through which people pay around €55 a year for access to better deals, also soared.
The company said it had 4.3 million prime subscribers at the end of 2022 and is on track to meet or exceed its target of 7.25 million subscribers in 2025.