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Pandemic pushes tourism giant TUI deep into loss

Agence France-Presse

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German firm TUI, the world's largest tour operator, posts a net loss of 1.42 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in April-June 2020, the 3rd quarter of its fiscal year

The world’s largest tour operator TUI said on Thursday, August 13, it slumped to a huge loss in the 3rd quarter as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the global travel sector. 

The German tourism giant, which has already announced job cuts and store closures, posted a bottom-line net loss of 1.42 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the period from April to June. 

In the same period a year earlier, it booked net profit of 22.8 million euros.

TUI runs its business year from October to September, and in the 9 months to June, TUI’s cumulative net loss amounted to 2.3 billion euros.   

In the 3rd quarter alone, revenues plunged 98% to 71.8 million euros, as hotels, cruise ship, and flight operations all but shut down because of global coronavirus lockdowns.

The company restarted tourism operations in June, including a much-publicized first trip with German tourists to the Spanish island of Mallorca. 

It reopened around 55 hotels during the quarter, equivalent to around 15% of its total portfolio. 

The Hanover-based company had previously announced that it would axe 8,000 jobs worldwide to reduce costs. 

“We are targeting a permanent annual saving of more than 300 million euros,” TUI said.

Looking ahead, TUI said it expected to cover costs and break even at an operating level in the 4th quarter. 

And it said that bookings for summer 2021 were up 145% compared with those for 2020.

“Bookings are currently up significantly as customers both rebook holidays from this summer and look to secure new holidays early,” TUI said.

The publication of 3rd quarter earnings came a day after the company secured a new government aid package

The German government and TUI agreed to a further 1.2 billion euros in public aid on top of a 1.8-billion-euro loan that the company secured in April. 

It means TUI now has 2.4 billion euros in available cash, it said. 

“With the second state credit line, we are prepared in case the pandemic again has a major impact on tourism,” chief executive Fritz Joussen said. – Rappler.com

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