By Josh Martin cityam.com
Travel giant Tui took in €700m in sales in the half year to 31 March, down from €6.6bn the year prior, as borders remained closed, and summer holidays looked in doubt as destinations were lockdown.
Shares in Tui slumped 3.3 per cent to 413p per share this morning.
However, the travel company has since seen a slight recovery in traveller appetites, with new weekly bookings for summer holidays doubling across April.
The holidays company has 2.6m holiday packages sold for this coming summer.
However, there was a bigger jump in bookings for Summer 2022, as some Tui customers preferred to wait it out and rebook using vouchers to a date in the future where fewer restrictions apply.
For the half year Tui reported a €1.49bn loss.
Tui, which before the pandemic took 23m people on holiday annually, was left disappointed by the limited re-opening of travel from the UK, which along with Germany is one of its two biggest markets.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last week said that people could travel to Portugal without needing to quarantine from 17 May, but kept some of Tuis most popular destinations like Spain and Greece off its green list of low risk destinations.
Tui 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.
“We are now at the beginning of the expected restart. The anticipation is palpable, these are opportunities for tourism and for Tui,” chief executive Fritz Joussen said.
Susannah Streeter senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The flight paths out of the crisis have begun to be mapped out for the world’s largest travel and tourism operator but the damage caused by the harsh rays of Covid run deep.
“As revenues plunged by 89 per cent, TUI grabbed hold of a raft of financial life buoys to see it through the crisis. It’s now being kept afloat by €1.7bn of liquidity as the long wait for tourists to be allowed to travel once again continues”.