TUI has published trends in current bookings for summer 2021 as part of its Annual General Meeting. Progressing vaccination campaigns, increased availability of rapid and self-tests in the markets and the planned opening strategies of some European governments show a positive effect on the booking behaviour of TUI customers. In particular in the German and UK markets, holidaymakers are expected to show considerable pent-up demand. Increasing interest in holidays in the summer season is evident across all distribution channels. Customer demand is there, people want to travel. The TUI brand stands for safe and responsible holidays. Progress in combating the pandemic is crucial. But there is reason to look ahead very optimistically: Unlike in the summer of 2020, vaccines from various manufacturers will be available in the summer of 2021, vaccinations have begun and travelers will be able to use rapid and self-tests. This is significant progress and is encouraging for everyday life and living in the European markets and for people and businesses in the destinations.
In Germany, TUI supports the initiative of the airlines and the German government to test all travelers at their holiday destination during the Easter holidays before flying back to Germany. In addition, special arrangements are made for Easter travel. Testing and vaccination are important to get out of the pandemic and allow families to have a normal summer of travel, when holidaying “at home” as well as when traveling to the Mediterranean. TUI also appeals to guests to observe the applicable distance and hygiene rules as at home, also during the journey, on the flight as well as in the destination. All current holiday offers are geared towards relaxation, beach walks and the conscious experience of nature. TUI's safety and hygiene programmes at the holiday destination are of the same high standard as the measures taken by governments in the European source markets.
Summer 2021: 2.8 million bookings – capacity in peak season from July 2021 at 75 per cent
Overall, TUI Group-wide bookings for Summer 2021, including rebookings and voucher redemptions, remain unchanged at an encouraging level of 2.8 million guests – albeit 60 per cent below the comparable level for Summer 2019. Overall capacity for the peak summer travel months from July 2021 has been adjusted to 75 per cent (previously: 80 per cent) compared to 2019. The flexible business model allows for demand-driven capacity management and for the peak summer travel season we are aiming for good load factors and improved margins again. The Group remains flexible to increase capacity again in the short term as further progress is made on pandemic response and vaccination campaigns, travel restrictions are lifted and customer demand increases. The goal remains safe and responsible holidays with very high standards of hygiene during travel.
Pandemic management and containment remains at the forefront of policy decisions. This governmental framework also dictates to what extent and at what time business becomes possible. Since February, TUI recorded a total of around 180,000 new customer bookings for the key holiday months in the fourth business quarter (July, August, September). In addition, many guests from the UK who had planned a holiday before 17 May 2021 and are affected by the adjusted programme have rebooked for a later travel date in 2021. For example, bookings for October 2021 are up 12 per cent at TUI UK. We continue to see strong pent-up demand and the desire for travel is evident in the UK with bookings for next summer 2022 now around 120 per cent higher compared to summer 2021 bookings. Bookings for May 2022 in particular are recording an increase of more than 150 per cent compared to bookings for May 2021.
Liquidity still secured
In January, TUI successfully completed its third financing package including a capital increase. Against the background of a continuing pandemic, sufficient liquidity was thus secured until the summer. With parts of the cash inflows from the capital increase, the outstanding 300 million euro senior bond was redeemed early in February. This extended the maturities of the existing government loans until summer 2022. As at 22 March 2021, TUI had cash and available facilities of 1.6 billion euros*.
Image Credit: © TUI Group
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