Thursday 10 December 2020 8:40 am

Tui boss says no to vaccine passport as travel giant posts multi-billion pound loss

The chief executive of travel giant said the company had no plans to turn away customers who have not had the Covid-19 vaccine and testing passengers would remain important over the coming months.

“No,” he said, when asked whether he would turn away a non-vaccinated customer without a a vaccine passport or proof of getting the Cov-19 jab.7

. “I think this would be a mistake. Tests … are absolutely the important thing.”

Tui this morning posted an annual loss of 3bn as the pandemic choked travel demand and finances of the world’s biggest holiday group, forcing it to seek multiple bailouts from the German government.

The Hannover-based based company said it will raise its cost-cutting targets to 400m annually from the previous level of 300m, trying to become more efficient to help pay off new debts taken on to survive the crisis.

Last week, Tui secured a third bailout, striking a deal with the German government, private investors and banks for an extra 1.8bn, on top of state loans of 3bn it had already received.

“The rapid measures to cut costs and secure liquidity are important for the Group. They are a stable foundation for the future,” Tui boss Fritz Joussen said.

The company posted a loss of 3bn, from 894m of underlying core earnings (EBIT) last year, while revenue came in 58 per cent lower at 7.9bn.

Following the latest bailout, TUI now has 2.5bn of liquidity, and Joussen said the Covid-19 vaccine would help boost demand for holidays in 2021, forecasting a return to 2019 levels by 2022.

Bookings for next summer werethree per cent higher than they were at this stage in 2019, and average prices for summer 2021 were 14 per cent higher than 2020, Tui said.

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