• Quote: ‘The prospect of vaccinations from the beginning of the year will significantly increase demand for summer holidays in 2021.
  • We are prepared for a new start after the crisis’ – TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen

By Andrew Atkinson

TUI flights to Alicante-Elche from Manchester airport are scheduled for January 12, 19 and 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 27, 30, in the first quarter of 2021.

The chief executive of TUI said the company had no plans to turn away customers who have not had the Covid-19 vaccine.

TUI comments come on the back of Qantas, based in Australia, which has imposed some of the world’s toughest travel restrictions saying it would insist in future that international travellers have a vaccine before they fly.

“The prospect of vaccinations from the beginning of the year will significantly increase demand for summer holidays in 2021.

“We are prepared for a new start after the crisis,” said TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen.

TUI, who posted an annual loss of €3bn amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that has severely hit travel demand, have had multiple bailouts from the German government.

TUI plans to operate at 20% of the previous year’s capacity over this winter, rising to 80% for the summer.

The Hannover based company said it will raise its cost-cutting targets to €400m annually, from the previous level of €300m.

TUI secured a reported third bailout, striking a deal with the German government, private investors and banks for an extra €1.8bn, on top of state loans of €3bn.

“The rapid measures to cut costs and secure liquidity are important for the Group. They are a stable foundation for the future,” said Fritz Joussen.

The company posted a loss of €3bn, from €894m of underlying core earnings (EBIT) in 2019; revenue came in 58 per cent lower, at €7.9bn.

When it comes to flights to Spain, the Costas are often centre stage, says TUI on its website.

“There are plenty of sand-skirted resorts to choose from, starting with Costa Brava at the most north-easterly end. Heading south, you’ll find the golden beaches of Costa Dorada and the velvety shores of Costa Blanca,” say TUI.

“Flake out on one of Spain’s top-rated sweeps of sand, Levante Beach. It’s helped propel Benidorm to fame,” reads TUI website.

Bookings for next summer were a reported 3% higher than they were at this stage in 2019, and average prices for summer 2021 were 14% higher than 2020, TUI said.

Following the latest bailout, TUI now has €2.5bn of liquidity, and Joussen said the Covid-19 vaccine would help boost demand for holidays in 2021, forecasting a return to 2019 levels by 2022.

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