Wednesday, June 16

Tui feels beach-ready, in part thanks to the big Berlin bailout | Trip to Tui

Tristan da Cunha, here we go. The Tui travel company will have given a little applause at the end of last week, when the UK government finally confirmed the resumption of international leisure travel with a threadbare “green list” of faraway countries where desperate tourists can venture. safely without a 10-day quarantine around the corner.

For those who want to stay in the Northern Hemisphere, at least Portugal made the cut, although Tui executives are no doubt examining the pool facilities in the Faroe Islands right now. Tui, the world’s largest tourism company, will give more details on the state of the holiday market when it reports its first-half results on Wednesday.

International travel from Britain may resume on May 17, another step towards normalcy, and Tui is relying on a flood of vaccinated people booking summer holidays. It’s going to be busy in the Algarve, unless Greece turns green in June.

Of course, it’s been a long and terrible year for the travel industry, and Tui’s destination, Hannover-based Touristik Union International, reminds us that it’s not just the British who are staying away from sun loungers for now. .

The company had pinned its hopes on its German customers traveling over the Easter holidays, but new coronavirus restrictions put an end to that, announcing the closure of 48 UK main street branches in March.

Unlike poor Thomas Cook, Tui was lucky enough to be rescued by his government. Berlin rescued him several times during the Covid crisis, leaving him with a financial cushion of 2.1 billion euros (1.8 billion pounds sterling). “That should be enough until the summer, until the business takes off,” CEO Fritz Joussen said at the time.

You recorded a loss of € 699 million for the three months to the end of December, with an 88% drop in revenue. On Wednesday, the focus will be on summer trends and bookings for the Anglo-German group, which last year only took 2.5 million people on vacation, about a tenth of its usual number. He plans to offer 80% of his usual number of vacations (compared to 2019 levels) this summer, although a good chunk of bookings will be accumulations from last year’s cancellations.

However, it seems investors believe that it will take more than a life-threatening pandemic to prevent wealthy Westerners from demanding a break in the sun or even a cruise. In a show of faith in the travel giant’s ability to weather the Covid crisis, a € 300 million bond issue for Tui’s cruise division was more than five times more underwritten. You can’t ignore a 6.5% return on rock-low interest days, but it’s hard to imagine such a clamor a year ago to invest in pest ships abandoned at sea.

But who wants to be a party pooper with the holidays just around the corner? Flight prices rose last week, although Tui said he would not raise package travel prices, he still has a lot to sell. Instead, it is tempting customers with a discounted £ 20 Covid trial package for those traveling to green list countries, which could save families hundreds of pounds on their vacation. There’s also, in the fine print, a free Covid cover, in case it turns out that tourists aren’t magically immune after all. But that’s a problem for another day.

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