Tui Group has reported a 145% year-on-year increase in 2021 summer bookings, claiming its third quarter results have “met their own expectations”.
The group has also secured an additional €1.2 billion German government aid package.
In mid-June, Tui was the first travel company to bring German guests to Majorca in a pilot project and says due to the increased hygiene and safety measures in aircraft, transfers, hotels and clubs in the destinations, the restart from Germany was “successfully implemented”. In July, more than half a million European customers travelled with Tui on their summer holidays.
Tui added demand for holidays remains "very high": since the resumption of travel activities, 1.7 million new bookings have been received group-wide, with bookings for summer 2021 “also very promising”: currently 145% higher than last year’s bookings for this summer.
Joussen clarified though that figure did include the use of vouchers, but said even without bookings for summer 2021 were ahead of last year. New bookings since June were at 430,000 compared with 380,000 last year.
The 2020 summer programme is currently 57% booked (as of 2 August), based on the group’s new adjusted capacity.
Operationally, current cash costs should be covered in the fourth quarter and “cash break-even” should be achieved, the group said.
Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said: "Our integrated business model with aircraft, transfers, hotels and cruise ships is intact and has proved its worth in this difficult environment.
“During the crisis it has enabled us to be the first travel company to fly guests on holiday.
“The summer holidays are conducted responsibly and with the highest standards of hygiene in all markets.
“These were developed and implemented in cooperation with the governments of the destinations, the group’s hotels and airlines and the teams in the destinations.
“We were able to make integrated decisions on flight plans and hotel openings and also on the implementation of hygiene standards for all stages of the holiday.
“We also introduced massive cost reductions early and implemented them quickly and consistently.
“The additional governmental loan will secure our liquidity in the event of further long-lasting travel restrictions and disruptions through Covid-19.
“The securing of financial resources will allow us to focus on our operating business and at the same time drive forward the realignment of the group. Even before the pandemic, we had already initiated the next transformation of Tui: the transformation into a digital platform company. This is now being significantly accelerated.
“Tui after the crisis will be stronger, faster and more efficient than Tui before the crisis.”
Tui and KfW have agreed to increase the existing KfW loan by €1.05 billion which “provides sufficient liquidity in this volatile market environment” and will cover Tui’s seasonal swing through winter 2020/21 “and thereafter and any further long-term travel restrictions and disruptions through Covid-19”.
In addition, Tui has contributed Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to the joint venture Tui Cruises, jointly operated with the Royal Caribbean Group, granting Tui Group additional €690 million.
Including the additional stabilisation package, Tui would have cash and available facilities of €2.4 billion.
In terms of financial results for the quarter, Tui said due to its “massive fixed cost reduction of more than 70%”, which was initiated at a very early stage, the loss was limited.
Underlying Ebit (earnings before interest and taxes) on a constant currency basis totalled €-1.1 billion compared with €102.3 million in the previous year.
In the first nine months of the 2020 financial year, underlying Ebit amounted to €-2 billion. Excluding the effects of Covid-19, underlying Ebit for the first nine months amounted to €-102 million, an improvement on the previous year.
Joussen said: "Tui is very experienced in managing crises - we will also master them successfully and Tui will emerge from them stronger and in the long term economically as successful as before the pandemic.
“We acted very quickly at the beginning of the crisis in March and we responsibly mastered the new start in the summer - together with governments and partners.
“We will now sustainably reduce our costs and thereby strengthen our position in the market.”
Despite the resumption of travel activities, Tui said the current situation and the ongoing pandemic “do not yet allow us to make a new forecast for the 2020 financial year”.