13 DECEMBER 2021


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Article from BTNews 13 DECEMBER 2021

Tui results

The introduction of day two PCR testing for returnees to the UK is seen as bad news in terms of business according the Tui Group Chief Executive Fritz Joussen.

The boss of Britain’s largest holiday operator was outspoken when he announced last quarter’s results on Wednesday (8 December).

“Additional testing incurs additional costs – and that’s not good for customers,” said Joussen, “It’s fair to say it’s more difficult than if they didn’t have to take the tests.

“The most annoying thing is the unpredictability. Our UK customers are in destination and then overnight they get a regulation that when you come back you have to do a PCR and need to quarantine until you have a negative result.”

Joussen called for the Government to give “lead times” when making changes to the travel rules.

“These rapid, immediate changes are something that’s difficult for people,” he added. “Even a couple of days in quarantine is not easy to digest. But I don’t want to get involved in political decisions.”

Joussen said that Tui had only seen a “very, very small” number of customers amending or cancelling their bookings because of Omicron. Although he admitted it was “very, very early days” since the discovery of the new variant.

“People are largely amending – there’s very little cancellation and a lot of moving to Easter or to summer or later in the winter,” he added.

Tui’s results showed how the UK has been lagging other European countries in the recovery of international travel.

While the operator’s Central (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland) and Western (Belgium, Netherlands, France) regions both returned to profit in the fourth quarter of the financial year, running from July to September 2021, the Northern region, which includes the UK, still made a quarterly loss of €258m.

“In the UK we still had 60 countries on the red list, therefore the UK was not profitable – where travel was possible, we saw profits,” said Joussen.


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