Tour operations and airlines chief David Burling has Tui contract extended

Praise has been heaped on former Tui UK and Ireland boss David Burling by the European travel group as the appointment of new chief executive Sebastian Ebel was confirmed.

Tui Group revealed that Burling’s role as executive board member for markets and airlines was being extended ahead of schedule by two years until May 2026.

Burling was among industry executives quizzed by MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee earlier this month as part of a probe into flight cancellations and staff shortages which have caused airport disruption after Covid travel restrictions were lifted.

He has worked for the company in various roles for more then 30 years after starting his career at Thomson Holidays in 1990. Burling was instrumental in the merger with First Choice in 2007 before heading Tui UK and Ireland for four years until 2015 when he joined the overall executive board.   

Current chief financial officer Ebel will step up to replace Fritz Joussen, who announced on Friday his resignation from September 30 after steering the company through the pandemic. 

The company’s ruling supervisory board has now confirmed the extension of Burling’s contract, ensuring he will maintain responsibility for all Tui’s tour operations and airlines.

A group statement said: “The successful restart of Tui’s tour operator programme after the pandemic is in his proven hands. 

“Tui expects a strong summer business in 2022 and David Burling and his teams in the markets will do everything they can to ensure that guests have a memorable and enjoyable holiday. 

“David Burling has many years of experience in top management and is an internationally versed tourism manager.”

Chief executive-designate Ebel, who takes over at the start of the group’s financial year on October 1, said: “I would like to thank the supervisory board for their trust. 

“Our guests and Tui’s 50,000 colleagues are an enormous motivation for me. 

“We still have some homework to do in dealing with the corona effects, but above all I see many opportunities for Tui. 

“With the strong Tui team and our partners – the destinations, the hoteliers and the travel agencies – we will grow profitably again and together lead Tui to new successes. 

“I would like to thank Fritz Joussen for his close and trusting co-operation.” 

“He saved Tui from split up, formed a new international group and led the company safely through the corona crisis with full energy. I am now looking forward to taking over from him and leading Tui into the next phase.”

Ebel is to be succeeded as CFO by Mathias Kiep, previously group director controlling, corporate finance and investor relations.

Ebel and Kiep have been appointed for a period of three years from October 1.

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