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Tui predicts ‘decade of significant growth’ but slips to second in UK behind Jet2

Tui predicts ‘decade of significant growth’ but slips to second in UK behind Jet2

Europe’s biggest holiday firm, Tui, cut its losses between October and December 2022 and reports “encouraging booking momentum”.

The chief executive, Sebastian Ebel, said: “We are very confident we are entering a decade of significant growth for Tui.”

But in the UK, Jet2 Holidays has overtaken the Anglo-German firm as Britain’s biggest tour operator.

In its first-quarter financial results, Tui reported “revenue up significantly due to strong travel demand” and the usual winter losses were almost halved.

Group revenue rose by 56 per cent to €3.8bn (£3.4bn) compared with the same months a year earlier, and is now back to pre-pandemic levels. Customer numbers rose 50 per cent to 3.3 million.

The company lost €153m (£135m) in the final three months of 2022, equivalent to £1.5m per day, but losses were cut by 44 per cent compared with the previous year.

The average holiday is one day longer than in pre-pandemic times, the firm reported. Cruising is performing particularly strongly.

Price increases over the past month have been 12 per cent higher than in 2019. Long-haul price rises have been higher than for European holidays.

Mr Ebel said: “Forward bookings for the UK are very good.”

But Tui’s decades-long position as Britain’s biggest holiday company has come to an end. The latest Civil Aviation Authority figures for permitted passenger numbers show Jet2 Holidays is authorised to carry 5.86 million travellers over a year, almost 10 per cent higher than Tui UK.

Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2 Holidays, said: “Becoming the UK’s largest tour operator is a significant milestone.

“But it will not change a single thing that we do. Our continued success is because we have the best team in the industry who work tirelessly to look after our customers, and we will never lose sight of that fundamental principle.”

His opposite number at Tui, Sebastian Ebel, said: “We are not benefiting as much as Jet2 from the disappearance of Thomas Cook.”

The long-established travel firm established by Thomas Cook in 1841 collapsed in 2019,

Mr Ebel said: “We are taking this challenge and want to grow stronger than our dear competitor.”

The Tui CEO was also asked about the effect on traveller sentiment of the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which has killed more than 37,000 people.

He said: “We have seen a…

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