TUI UK travel bookings surge as millions secure summer flights
TUI (TUI.L) expects summer holiday bookings this year to be close to pre-pandemic travel levels.
Europe’s largest holiday tour operator warned in December last year that the Omicron variant was slashing bookings, but adopted a more optimistic tone in its trade update announcing that the company’s losses had narrowed to fourth trimester.
The Anglo-German company said on Tuesday that holiday demand and prices had risen by more than a fifth.
The end of travel measures for vaccinated people in the UK led to an increase in booking activity, with summer holiday bookings up 19% compared to the same period in 2019.
He said that as of January 30, a total of 3.5 million TUI customers had booked travel for the summer of 2022, around 72% of the levels seen during the same period in 2019. TUI added that the new bookings helped group sales recover to 100% of 2019 levels.
Travelers are also booking “higher quality” vacations with bigger budgets this summer, according to a statement from the company.
“We expect a strong summer 2022,” said chief executive Fritz Joussen. “The path out of the pandemic is becoming increasingly clear. Travel demand is high in all markets.”
The company’s shares were down 3.5% on Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m. in London.
The group, which operates airlines, hotels, cruises and travel agencies, has struggled since pandemic-related measures hammered the global tourism industry.
The forecast comes after TUI reported revenue of 2.3 billion euros (£1.9 billion, $2.6 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2021. That was five times higher than at the same period in 2020, but still a third below pre-COVID 2019 levels. .
The Hannover-based group has been bailed out several times by the German government and has taken over 4 billion euros in public loans and raised equity to get out of the crisis. TUI said it would return around €0.7 billion in state aid by April this year.
Losses before interest and taxes fell to 274 million euros from 676 million euros in the same period a year ago, and the company said prices for its summer vacation 2022 rose 22% thanks to a stronger demand for package holidays and more luxurious hotels.
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