Tui Group has seen UK bookings for Portugal leap 182% following the government’s "green list" announcement last week.
Speaking on a financial results call this morning Tui Group chief executive Fritz Joussen said Portugal and Madeira were the most in-demand destinations from the UK.
Joussen lamented though that more destinations were not on the UK’s green list, given the low incidence rates in some.
“The UK for me is a bit of an obstacle because vaccinations are high and incidence rates enormously low, but it seems the country is very cautious,” said Joussen.
“Portuguese new bookings are sky-rocketing (up 182% weekend-on-weekend between 30 April-2 May and 7-9 May).
“We put on more flights, Dreamliners instead of 737s, because we couldn’t even find the slots to fly to Portugal.”
He questioned though why destinations such as Majorca or the Canaries hadn’t been added to the green list, with incidence rates comparable with the UK’s.
“But the hope this will change in the next weeks,” added Joussen, adding that customers were still booking, assuming that by July, travel to more destinations will be possible from the UK.
“There’s a lot of logic that everyone will open eventually. We are talking about travel into countries where the incidence status is very low as well.
“Majorca is on same level as UK so what’s the problem?
“Other countries are booking significantly better now and I hope the UK catches up.”
With 2022 bookings up three times on 2019 for the UK, Joussen was asked whether he expected a “huge boom” for 2022.
“In January, summer 2020 bookings were up 17% in value. I cant see why that shouldn’t be the case in 2022,” he said.
“For us I expect summer 2019 plus consolidation effects.
“I think there’s a good probability that summer 2022 will be better than summer 2019.”
Joussen added that comparably, 2022 prices were slightly below 2019. “On average customers are paying more because they want more, but price per room night is lower than 2019.”
Joussen said also that extending the season was a “viable option because we see a huge demand to the end of the season”.
“That needs to be agreed with destinations – it’s not just what we see with UK.”