TUI expects travel bookings to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in summer 2022

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Dec 8 (Reuters) – Tour operator TUI expects travel bookings in summer 2022 to return to pre-pandemic levels, after it posted an annual loss of over 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) as coronavirus curbs dominated most part of its financial year.

The world’s largest holiday company also said on Wednesday it was close to reaching break-even in the fourth quarter, and it was achieving 69% of pre-crisis levels in the first quarter of the new financial year.

Germany-based TUI has struggled since pandemic restrictions wreaked havoc on the tourism industry, leaving its hotels, airlines and cruises empty for the better part of the last 20 months or so.

To survive, it has had to take German state aid, raise money through debt and equity. In October, it raised about 1.1 billion euros to pay down its debts and stay ahead of a planned recovery in tourism after summer bookings surged post lockdowns.

“We are generating significant cash inflows and achieving positive results again in many markets and with our hotels and TUI hotel brands,” said Chief Executive Officer Fritz Joussen.

The company, which owns travel agencies, hotels, airlines and cruise ships, said it was currently recording 4.1 million bookings for this winter and summer 2022.

It said 5.4 million guests travelled with TUI in the entire 2021 financial year ending Sept. 30.

($1 = 0.8859 euros)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi Aich)

Photo – EPA-EFE/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

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