Britons head to beach instead of royal wedding
Wednesday 09 February 2011
The tour operator Thomas Cook has seen holiday bookings for April surge by a quarter from Britons looking to go abroad at around the time of the royal wedding to take advantage of a glut of bank holidays.
But Thomas Cook will take a £20m hit to profits from the political unrest in Tunisia and Egypt in its second quarter, after its bigger rival, TUI Travel, warned last week that it could lose up to £30m from the disruption.
For the three months to 31 December, Thomas Cook improved its underlying losses by 10 per cent to £37.3m. Manny Fontenla-Novoa, the chief executive, said the company had increased its capacity for the UK market from 200,000 to 300,000 in April and reservations were already up by 25 per cent on last year.
He explained that customers were finding it "too good to resist" booking a holiday in the second half of the month, when taking three days' holiday would give them 11 days off. Following the four-day Easter bank holiday, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton falls on 29 April, ahead of the three-day May Day weekend. "We are seeing demand for holidays increasing significantly in April," said Mr Fontenla-Novoa.
For its first quarter, Thomas Cook's revenues rose by 7 per cent to £1.81bn, driven by strong demand for all-inclusive and luxury holidays. It said its bookings for this summer were "strong" and ahead of planned capacity rises of 3 per cent, with average selling prices up 5 per cent. Mr Fontenla-Novoa said: "Right now, 55 per cent of what we sell is all-inclusive... and 50 per cent is four-to-five star [holidays]."
However, while the "the economic environment continues to support demand throughout Continental Europe", he warned the recovery in the UK remains "very fragile".
Despite the Foreign Office still advising people to travel to Egypt's Red Sea resorts, Thomas Cook has seen a shift to other regions, with bookings to the Balearic Islands up by 30 per cent over the past four weeks, and sales to Greece 20 per cent higher.
But Mr Fontenla-Novoa said "conditions are calming down" in Egypt and the company hoped to return to a full programme by early April at the latest, and before then for Tunisia.
Meanwhile, he said he was "very confident" that the Office of Fair Trading would approve the merger between Thomas Cook and the Co-operative Group's high-street travel agent and foreign exchange businesses, which was first announced in October.
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...