Tui has reduced its capacity for this summer from 80% to 75% of 2019’s level, with summer bookings appearing to have stalled.

Yet Tui described bookings as “encouraging” at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) today.

The company reported group bookings for summer 2021 remain unchanged at 2.8 million, the same figure it reported in early February, leaving bookings 60% down on the comparable period in 2019.

However, Tui reported the average sales price for this summer up 22% on 2019 due to a “higher share of booked package holidays”.

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Chief executive Fritz Joussen said the group had taken 180,000 bookings for July, August and September since last month.

In the UK, Tui said many holidaymakers booked to travel before May 17, the earliest possible restart date for overseas holidays, had re-booked for later in the year but gave no figures.

It reported: “Many guests who planned a holiday before May 17 have re-booked for a later travel date in 2021. For example, bookings for October are up 12% at Tui UK.”

The group also reported strong UK bookings for 2022, noting: “We continue to see strong pent-up demand in the UK, with bookings for summer 2022 now around 120% higher compared to summer 2021 bookings.

“Bookings for May 2022 are recording an increase of more than 150% compared to May 2021.”

In a statement, Tui also said it retains the flexibility “to increase capacity as further progress is made on pandemic responses and vaccination campaigns, travel restrictions are lifted and customer demand increases”.

The group expects to carry holidaymakers from Germany over Easter, who will be tested at their destination before returning home in line with German entry requirements.

Joussen said: “Customer demand is there, people want to travel. There is reason to look ahead optimistically.

“Unlike in the summer of 2020, vaccines from various manufacturers will be available in the summer of 2021, vaccinations have begun and travellers will be able to use rapid and self-tests. This is significant progress.

“Testing and vaccination are important to get out of the pandemic and allow families to have a normal summer of travel.”

The group reported it has €1.6 billion in cash and credit available following a third refinancing package of €1.8 billion in January.

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