Tui records £1bn loss amid Covid-19 travel shutdown – The Guardian

Tui Travel[1]

Sales fell 98% from April-June as pandemic halted travel but Europe’s biggest holiday firm says future bookings offer hope


A Tui rep with new arrivals at Palma de Mallorca airport.




A Tui rep greets new arrivals at Palma de Mallorca airport in July.Photograph: Clara Margais/Getty Images

Tui[2], Europe’s biggest holiday company, made a loss of EUR1.1bn (?994m) between April and June after the pandemic put a stop to travel and triggered a 98% fall in revenues. The group, which began to take people on holiday again in mid-June, said the revival in demand was “encouraging” but that summer bookings were 80% lower than last year and that it did not expect demand return to normal until 2022. The German company has reopened more than half of its hotels worldwide, including in Europe, Mexico, Egypt and the Caribbean, although they have an average occupancy rate of only 23% to allow for social distancing.

The firm’s cruise operations remain suspended until later in August. The firm’s chief executive, Fritz Joussen, said Tui was the first travel company to fly passengers on holiday following the lifting of restrictions and stressed that “summer holidays are conducted responsibly and with the highest standards of hygiene in all markets”. “We acted very quickly at the beginning of the crisis in March and we responsibly mastered the new start in the summer – together with governments and partners.

We will now sustainably reduce our costs and thereby strengthen our position in the market,” Joussen said. Tui said it would not provide a forecast for the rest of the year, as the pandemic continues to impact travel. The UK government’s introduction of new travel restrictions and quarantine measures also led to a wave of fresh cancellations, after Tui cancelled all Britons’ holidays to mainland Spain[3] until 9 August.

The group has reduced its holiday capacity for 2021, but said bookings for that year were “very promising” , with hopes that there would be a return to normal in 2022.

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Tui confirmed it has secured an extra EUR1.2bn of funding from the German government, to get it through the quiet winter season. This is on top of a EUR1.8bn loan commitment it received from German state lender KfW in March as travel ground to a halt across Europe, taking its total government support to EUR3bn.

Tui, which is also the UK’s biggest holiday operator, announced in July it would shut 166 high street travel stores[4] across the UK and Ireland, and ask affected staff to work from home, as the coronavirus pandemic has hastened the shift to booking holidays online rather than on the high street.

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  4. ^ shut 166 high street travel stores (www.theguardian.com)
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