Tui boss “optimistic” about summer holiday season

© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk – The CEO of Tui has said he is optimistic that the UK travel season can be saved as successful vaccination programmes will allow international travel to resume this summer.

“We are optimistic about the summer,” Tui (LON:) CEO Friedrich Joussen said in an interview with the BBC.

The company said it expects to operate up to 75% of its normal schedule for the summer season.

Pandemic impact

The sector has suffered more than any since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of last year, and Tui has not been immune from the problems.

Earlier this month, the travel operator was forced to issue a convertible bond to “further improve its liquidity position” as the Covid-19 crisis continues.

In their latest trading update, issued in February, the company reported an almost 90% decline in quarterly revenue for the period ending 31st December 2020. It is unlikely that would have seen any improvement in the first three months of this year.

UK roadmap for international travel

The UK has issued its roadmap for easing international travel restrictions which should occur from the end of May.

However, many businesses in the travel industry have been critical of the plans, given the expense that passengers may have to undertake to travel. Consumer watchdog magazine Which? said a return trip to Greece would require five PCR tests, at a cost of £370 per passenger. France would cost £420 per person, Spain £330 and Italy £310.

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Joussen said demonstrating negative test results or proof of vaccination would be effective in preventing the spread of coronavirus. However, the costs of mass testing international travellers may still be too expensive.

“The cheaper it gets, the better it works and the less harmful it is for the general economy,” Joussen said.

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