Tui blames ‘disruptions in air traffic’ for early summer loss

Tui blames ‘disruptions in air traffic’ for early summer loss
Europe’s biggest holiday company says problems at Manchester Airport and elsewhere cost £64m

Europe’s biggest holiday company has blamed “disruptions in air traffic” for another quarterly loss.

Tui made 200 outbound flight cancellations in May and June, mainly as a result of resourcing issues involving its ground handler, Swissport, at Manchester Airport.

Revealing its third-quarter results for the April-June spell, Tui said disruption led to €75m (£64m) in “additional costs caused by the irregularities, particularly in British air traffic”.

The holiday giant says that in May and June, one in 25 passengers was delayed by three hours or more. It stresses that the flight cancellations in this period “represent less than one per cent of the entire summer programme”.

Without the extra costs, Tui calculates it would have made its first quarterly profit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Without the additional costs, underlying profit would have been €48m (£41m).

Yet with average selling prices for July to September holidays one-fifth higher than the pre-Covid level, and the number of bookings almost the same, the Anglo-German travel firm predicts it will make a profit in the full year ending in September 2022.

Tui has sold summer holidays amounting to 90 persent van 2019 booking levels.

The outgoing chief executive, Fritz Joussen, gesê: “We are experiencing a strong travel summer. TUI is secured and economically and operationally back on track when I hand over the chairmanship to Sebastian Ebel on 30 September.”

The chief financial officer and chief executive-designate, Sebastian Ebel, gesê: “Our business performed well in the third quarter – despite the operational challenges in the European tourism sector.

“People want to travel. Holidays continue to top the list of planned spending – this has not changed. Although the entire European airline sector continues to face challenges, we have successfully ramped up our business with a significant increase in demand and achieved a good third quarter.”

“We are consistently tackling the operational challenges of the restart.

As well as spending more money on their trips – primarily for longer stays and better accommodation – holidaymakers are also booking closer to departure.

The three fleets of Tui Cruises were in service, but “load factors” – the proportion of capacity occupied – ranged from 57 aan 70 persent. The standard cruise model is to operate as close to full as possible.

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