Tui has told families it will not be offering cheap last-minute holiday deals this summer despite expecting bookings to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Fritz Joussen, Tui chief executive, has revealed the company will hold its current pricing structure – bucking the trend of previous years.
It comes despite Tui having halved its losses for the past six months as the rebound in customers numbers and bookings continues following the lifting of Covid restrictions.
The travel operator said pricing for this summer has increased by 20 per cent, but bosses stressed that this has been driven by longer holidays and more expensive trips, including five-star hotels, as many people travel for the first time since the pandemic.
Mr Joussen said today: ‘There will be practically no last-minute deals for this summer.
Fritz Joussen (pictured), Tui chief executive, has revealed the company will hold its current pricing structure
Tui halved its losses for the past six months as the rebound in customers numbers following the lifting of Covid restrictions continues
‘Over the past six weeks, we’ve seen demand beyond 2019. We want to keep that momentum but aren’t going to suddenly shift to discounting.’
Tui reported an earnings loss of £525 million for the half year to March 31, following a £1.11 billion loss over the same period last year.
It told shareholders that it could return to profit by the end of the year as a result.
The operator is expecting a ‘strong’ summer and has already achieved 85 per cent of the booking levels seen in the summer of 2019, before Covid led to travel restrictions and devastated the industry.
Tui says the latest quarter was ‘significantly improved’ and attributed the boost to the easing of restrictions.
The travel group said its UK operation ‘continues to lead the way’ for summer bookings, which currently show an 11 per cent increase against the levels seen in summer 2019.
Overall bookings for the summer are expected to ‘almost reach’ levels from 2019.
Travellers at Manchester Airport queuing for check-in desks for Tui flights at Terminal 2 earlier today
A couple takes a selfie while sunbathing on Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on the island of Gran Canaria, a popular destination for holiday group Tui
It has been buoyed by holidaymakers booking ‘more at short notice’ and also spending more money on each trip, the firm said.
Meanwhile, revenues over the for the past half-year rose more than five-fold to £3.8bn compared to the same period a year earlier, when the firm was still struggling with Covid restrictions.
Mr Joussen said: ‘The high demand for travel and the very good business performance confirm our forecasts.
‘2022 will be a good financial year. Capacity almost reaches pre-corona level of 2019.
‘After two years of crisis, we expect Tui to become profitable again in the current financial year with a significantly positive underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax).
‘This is the basis for new growth.’