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TUI airline gives update on holidays as travel restrictions ease

Holiday group Tui has predicted a strong summer season thanks to pent-up demand as travel restrictions ease, and said it cut winter losses.

The group reported underlying losses of 273.6 million euros (£230.5 million) for its first quarter to the end of December, narrowed from losses of 675.8 million euros (£569 million) a year ago.

It said revenues rose five-fold to 2.37 billion euros (£2 billion) from 468 million euros (£394 million) a year ago, helped by surging prices – up 22% for summer trips and 15% higher for winter holidays.

Tui said the Omicron variant of coronavirus was a “short-term dampener” at the end of November and December, with holidaymakers still looking to book at the last minute amid fears of restrictions and disruption.

But the company said: “Confidence in progress in ending the pandemic is increasing and holiday bookings are picking up significantly.”

Tui put the surge in prices for holidays down to travellers looking for higher quality and have bigger budgets for their summer trips.

Chief executive Fritz Joussen said: “We expect a strong Summer 2022. There is pent-up demand among customers. We see this in all European source markets.

“Every step towards normality gives people confidence, and the demand for holidays increases immediately.”

The UK is “leading the way” for bookings, alongside Denmark, according to Tui.

The move to ditch travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers in the UK has helped boost demand in what is the firm’s second-largest market, with summer holiday bookings up 19% compared with two years earlier.

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