Wednesday June 16, 2021
“We hardly make it”
Vacationers overrun Tui
After the long restrictions in the fight against Corona, people are drawn to vacation. According to its own information, the world’s largest tour operator Tui can hardly cope with the request. The reduced aircraft fleet will be fully operational. The company rejects reports of a capital increase.
At the world’s largest travel company Tui, bookings on the home market of Germany have been increasing sharply for weeks thanks to relaxed corona requirements. “We hardly manage to cope with the strong demand,” said the head of Tui Germany, Marek Andryszak. Since May, the number of bookings has even been above the level of the comparison weeks in the pre-crisis year 2019. TUI Deutschland is offering 75 percent of the capacity of two years ago in the summer. In particular, Mallorca, Crete and holiday destinations on the Turkish Riviera are in demand. As soon as there was clarity about the travel options, the inquiries skyrocketed.
Rising vaccination rates, low infection numbers and the lifting of the travel warning for corona risk areas with an incidence below 200 ensured that consumers put their holiday wishes into practice. With the first wave of trips to Mallorca and Greece at Easter, the number of corona cases had increased neither in Germany nor at the holiday resorts, Andryszak said. “Organized tourism with high standards of testing is not contributing to the spread of the pandemic.”
The critical public discussion about the small Mallorca travel boom would have caused bookings to dry up quickly. The fact that the federal government then introduced compulsory testing for returning air travelers was helpful because the psychological pressure on sun-hungry customers had subsided.
Compulsory test for returnees
The federal and state health ministers have extended the test requirement for air travelers from abroad until mid-September. The main reason for this is concern about the introduction of virus variants. The uncertainty about this has so far not had an impact on the recovery of the travel business at TUI, the company said.
Due to the good demand, Tui is expanding flight and bed capacities, explained Germany boss Andryszak. The company’s own airline Tui fly will be in full operation with the remaining 22 aircraft in the summer. Before the Corona crisis, the German Tui airline had 39 aircraft. There was a dispute between management and the unions, especially with the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit, about the downsizing and savings in response to the crisis.
Airline boss Oliver Lackmann told the “Handelsblatt” that the cabin crew did not have to lay down because of the recovery in demand. They could possibly also be avoided by the ground crew. But of the once around 500 pilots, 120 have been dismissed.
No further capital increase at the moment
The travel company from Hanover had to be saved from bankruptcy with around 4.3 billion euros in government financial aid due to the collapse of business in the pandemic. Tui raised more than 500 million euros from its shareholders through a capital increase at the beginning of the year, as well as a total of 700 million euros through bonds. A Tui spokesman stated that the company is currently not facing any further capital increases. All possible financing scenarios are constantly being examined.
“Additional financing measures have not yet been decided,” he added. “There are also no banks mandated.” Tui reacted to a report by the Bloomberg news agency, according to which the tourism group, supported by state financial aid, is exploring the option of a capital increase with a volume of around one billion euros with consultants. The group wants to wait until after the summer to estimate the need for funds, it said with reference to unnamed sources. Tui wants to repay state financial aid with fresh equity. “We continue to assume that we will be cash-positive in the fourth quarter,” said the TUI spokesman.