Tui today reported its first cash positive quarter since the pandemic began as the relaxation of travel restrictions across Europe boosted holiday bookings.
The Anglo-German firm said that it had made an extra 1.5m bookings in the period, with 4.2m people booked for the summer period in total.
For the third period, 876,000 people made trips with the firm, up from 159,000 in the second quarter, as European countries pulled their curbs on travel.
Shares in the firm rose 3.0 per cent this morning.
However, despite signs of recovery, it added that it had reduced capacity for the peak summer period to 60 per cent of 2019 levels, down from previous plans to set capacity at 75 per cent.
Tui posted a €670m (£564.3m) loss for the period, on revenue of €650m.
It has been a year and a half of extreme turbulence for the Hanover-based holiday firm, which has been on the receiving end of multiple bailouts from the German government, and taken on €4bn in loans to keep afloat.
But today chief executive Fritz Joussen said that the recovery was now underway.
“Germany and continental European markets show high demand. In England this will only be reflected in the fourth quarter (July-Sept). Business is coming back,” he said.
Tui added that it had improved its liquidity in the quarter to €3.1bn.
Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director from Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service said: “We are in peak holiday season, but as if we needed further evidence of just how devastating the pandemic has been, today TUI set out in black and white how summer 2021 looks compared to summer 2019.
“Yet things are genuinely looking up at the world’s largest package holiday, with 1.5 million holidays booked with it since the first-half update three months ago to the day.
“TUI has done and continues to do everything it can to get people holidaying safely and within the ever-changing travel rules. But if planning a holiday is currently as fraught as it is, think how much more difficult it is to run the holiday firm. So little surprise that a warning that full-year revenue is set to fall year-on-year.