Europe's summer is on, world's biggest holiday company TUI says

Europe's summer is on, world's biggest holiday company TUI says
Europe's summer is on, world's biggest holiday company TUI says   -   Copyright  (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html   -  
By Reuters

<p><body> <p>By Sarah Young</p> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> (Reuters) -<span class="caps">TUI</span> Group, the world’s biggest holiday company, said it was expecting a strong 2021 holiday season and stuck to a plan to operate 75% of its pre-pandemic capacity, as rising vaccination levels mean Europe will open for travel this summer.</p> <p>But ongoing restrictions and <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 uncertainty have so far held back an expected surge in demand for trips. <span class="caps">TUI</span> said that it had a total of 2.6 million bookings for this summer, 69% lower than it had at this time of year in 2019. </p> <p><span class="caps">TUI</span>, which before the pandemic took 23 million people on holiday annually, was left disappointed by the limited re-opening of travel in Britain, which along with Germany is one of its two biggest markets. </p> <p>Britain said that people could travel to Portugal without needing to quarantine, but kept some of <span class="caps">TUI</span>’s most popular destinations like Spain and Greece off its green list of low risk destinations. </p> <p><span class="caps">TUI</span> said, however, that it expected those destinations to open in the next few weeks and that demand had recently picked-up, with new bookings doubling since April. </p> <p>“We are now at the beginning of the expected restart. The anticipation is palpable, these are opportunities for tourism and for <span class="caps">TUI</span>,” chief executive Fritz Joussen said in a statement. </p> <p>Since the pandemic struck Europe last February, Germany-based <span class="caps">TUI</span> has been hammered, relying on multiple bail-outs from the German government to survive. </p> <p>Reporting results for the six months ended 31 March 2021, <span class="caps">TUI</span> said on Wednesday that it sunk to an <span class="caps">EBIT</span> loss of 1.3 billion euros ($1.58 billion) on revenues which contracted 89% to 716 million euros. </p> <p>($1 = 0.8249 euros)</p> <p> (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Alistair Smout/Guy Faulconbridge)</p> </body></p>