Tui warns of 8,000 job losses as it aims to reinvent holidays
Travel firm Tui has pledged to “reinvent the holiday in 2020” as it seeks to beat the coronavirus pandemic. Tui said it would be reopening selected hotels in Germany “in the coming days”, with its operations in other European destinations also ready to welcome holidaymakers.
However, it warned that up to 8,000 jobs would go as it strives to cut costs by 30% in a major restructuring. It was forced to cancel the majority of its travel programme in March.
Tui has since been bolstered by a €1.8bn (£1.6bn) state-backed loan in Germany. Travel restrictions across Europe and further afield mean that the crucial summer season is still in doubt, leaving millions of holidaymakers unsure of their plans.
In the UK, the Foreign Office is still advising against all non-essential foreign travel, with no indication of when the policy might change.
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was unlikely that “big, lavish international holidays” were going to be possible this summer.
Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said: “The demand for holidays is still very high. People want to travel. “Our integrated business model allows us to start travel activities as soon as this is possible again. The season starts later, but could last longer.
“For 2020, we will also reinvent the holiday: new destinations, changed travel seasons, new local offerings, more digitalisation.”
Tui said it was ready to resume providing holidays this year, using new social distancing and cleaning measures.
“The health and well-being of both customers and colleagues remain paramount and we are assessing how we can responsibly adapt to measures so that leisure travel can resume,” the firm said.
“We are preparing new procedures for the airport process, on board our aircraft, in hotels and on our ships, so that any social distancing recommendations or guidelines can be implemented, without compromising customer enjoyment and travel experience.”
Tui said its restructuring would affect its airline business and would also involve selling off “non-profitable activities”.
“We are targeting to permanently reduce our overhead cost base by 30% across the entire group. This will have an impact on potentially 8,000 roles globally that will either not be recruited or reduced,” it said in a statement.
Tui normally employs 70,000 people during the summer holiday season and 60,000 in quieter months.
The firm said its turnover and earnings would be significantly lower in the current financial year, with cost savings only partly compensating for the slump.