Berlin (Reuters) – The corona crisis hits the travel company TUI, which has been rescued by the state, hard.
Sales collapsed between April and June within a year by 98.5 percent to almost 72 million euros, because the tourism business almost completely failed due to the travel restrictions, as the Hanover-based company announced on Thursday. The consolidated loss was 1.45 billion euros and totaled around 2.3 billion euros in the first nine months of the 2019/20 financial year, which ended at the end of September, despite the cost reductions initiated. “With the second state credit line, we are prepared if the pandemic has another significant impact on tourism,” said TUI boss Fritz Joussen. It is still unclear whether you need the money. “It is important that we are prepared for the worst case.”
Due to the still largely idle tourism business, the federal government increased state aid for TUI from 1.8 billion euros by a further 1.2 billion euros. At TUI, large parts of the business had collapsed completely due to the global travel restrictions to contain the virus pandemic. To counteract this, the group wants to cut around 8,000 jobs. The fleet of the airline Tuifly alone is to be reduced from 39 to 17 planes. The costs in the group should decrease by 30 percent or 300 million euros annually.
“Operationally, operations should cover ongoing cash costs in the fourth quarter and thus cash breakeven”, announced TUI. Since the resumption of travel activities in mid-June, 1.7 million new bookings have been received across the group and the bookings for summer 2021 are very promising. “The booking behavior is short-term,” said Joussen. “That’s why we don’t know exactly how winter will go today.” The prices for this summer would be around ten percent below the previous year’s level. However, the management did not dare to make a new forecast. On the stock exchange, the TUI share in Frankfurt lost more than four percent in early business.
Joussen recently emphasized in an interview that he did not expect “normal business” to return until 2022. Because of the payments to customers for canceled trips, TUI initially burned around 550 to 650 million euros per month during the Corona crisis.