Omicron Already Hitting Winter Holiday Bookings, TUI Says
The world’s largest package holiday operator TUI has warned that bookings for winter holidays have already taken a hit due to concerns surrounding the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
The company said it is now exploring whether or not to cut capacity for the rest of its winter programme, having already made a loss of £2.1 billion in the year to the end of September.
In the fourth quarter, revenues rebounded thanks to the success of the vaccination programme. TUI says the first quarter of the new financial year is 93% booked, though this is still lower than levels seen pre-pandemic.
Following the news of the new omicron coronavirus variant, shares dropped by as much as 5% before recovering slightly as investor concern eased.
“We had a successful summer season after the relaunch. The overarching trends are intact. TUI’s operating business is back and has recovered significantly in the last financial quarter of 2021,” chief executive Fritz Joussen said in TUI’s full-year report.
“The first financial quarter of 2022 is already almost fully booked at 93 per cent. This means that we are currently at 69 per cent of the pre-crisis level capacities in the current quarter. We expect summer 2022 and the peak travel season to return to booking levels similar to pre-Corona 2019.”