Holiday company TUI Group has recorded a €1.3 billion loss for the six month period that ended on March 31.
Expecting A Strong Summer Season
However, TUI has said that it is expecting a strong 2021 summer season and will operate 75% of pre-COVID-19 pandemic capacity, with rising levels of vaccinations set to fuel last-minute bookings.
The pandemic has hammered TUI, which is the world's biggest holiday group, and while it sunk to a €1.3 billion loss for the six months to the end of March, it said that the worst is behind it as European resorts start to reopen.
New bookings have doubled since April, with customers from Germany and Belgium driving demand for holidays after winter lockdowns, and the group expects UK bookings to catch up as more destinations are opened in the next few weeks.
Those bookings should help relieve the pressure on heavily indebted TUI, the finances of which have been strained by 14 months of COVID-19 restrictions.
TUI CEO Statements
"When the business is coming back, as it is right now, liquidity will be coming into the system," TUI chief executive Fritz Joussen told reporters.
"When you see the bookings coming in like now...[we] will make profits in Q4," he said referring to the busy three months to the end of September.
Extending the summer season into October and November is a possibility given the high demand for holidays, he added.
Shares in the group have jumped 40% since the start of the year.
"Massively Reliant On The Opening Up Of Restrictions"
"The summer capacity assumption is massively reliant on the opening up of restrictions," Redburn analyst Alex Brignall said.
For now, TUI, which took 23 million people on holiday annually before the pandemic, said that it has a total of 2.6 million summer bookings, which is 69% lower than at this time in 2019.