Tui swings to £2.7bn annual loss and warns bookings won’t return to pre-crisis levels until 2022

Holiday giant Tui made a mammoth loss of €3.1billion (£2.7billion) this year as coronavirus pandemic restrictions disrupted international travel.

The tour operator said it does not expect bookings to return to normal levels until 2022 and announced more cost cuts to cope with the fallout from the crisis.

Revenues fell 58 per cent to €7.9billion (£7.2billion) in the year to the end of September as demand for holidays fell, tipping the company deep in the red.

Mammoth loss: Tui Group said it will slash costs further to cope with the fallout from Covid

The holiday sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, as restrictions and lockdowns have decimated demand and seen international travel largely grind to a halt.

The Ango-German company, which this year reduced its workforce by 32 per cent to 48,300, said it was looking to slash costs by a further €100million, bringing the total to €400million, but this would not include more job cuts.

Chief executive Fritz Joussen said: ‘The rapid measures to cut costs and secure liquidity are important for the group – they are a stable foundation for the future.’

He put faith in the rollout of Covid vaccines to ‘significantly’ boost holiday demand next year, but cautioned the market would not return to pre-crisis levels until 2022.

Tui has received several bailouts from the German government, with a further €1.8billion (£1.6billion) rescue package agreed last week with Berlin, private investors and lenders.

Bookings have fallen more than 80 per cent for the current winter season, but summer bookings for 2021 are 3 per cent higher than summer 2019.

Average prices for summer holidays next year are 14 per cent higher than this year’s, the company said.

Tui is hoping cruises in particular will bounce back as soon as vaccines become widely available.

However, it said 2021 was still a ‘transition’ year, and does not expect to return to ‘profitable growth’ until 2022.

The company announced 8,000 job cuts in May and the closure of 166 high street travel agencies shut across the UK.

Tui shares in London were down 2.3 per cent to 431.60p by 1pm on Thursday. They have lost 55 per cent of their value in the year to date.