TUI finds chill spring winds blowing in more bookings
A cold, wet spring across Europe has been a major boost for summer sun holiday bookings according to Peter Long, chief executive of the Thomson holiday group TUI.
He said: "I am particularly pleased that we saw a distinct improvement in the second quarter over the first quarter. We also saw a significant reduction in the scale of losses in the UK in the first half."
Bookings through to the end of April were up in every country with the exception of the UK and France.
Like all travel companies TUI makes a loss in the first half, but this was better than expected at £317m against a loss of £307m in the first half of 2011.
Long said in the UK, TUI saw a good rise in its "differentiated" holidays that include exclusive holiday villages and its upmarket Sensatori brand. These increased from 57 per cent to 64 per cent of holidays booked so far this year. Across the group, bookings for the summer are 17 per cent up on a year ago.
Revenues for the first half rose 5 per cent to £5.45bn and the interim dividend is up from 3.3p to 3.4p.
Long, who took his first flight on the 787 Dreamliner earlier this month, said TUI would start using it to fly to Florida and Cancun but when the next two deliveries arrived in time for winter 2013 it would look at even longer-haul destinations like Perth and Hawaii.
He said: "One of the key factors for our customers is that the 787 pressurises at much lower levels than older aircraft which means there is much-reduced jet lag."
As ever, he said, there will be late booking availability again this summer "if you don't particularly mind where you go and are flexible on dates".
TUI again outperformed rival Thomas Cook in terms of bookings.
Anonymity order lifted for triple child killer David McGreavy jailed in 1973
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Plenty of Fish dating site founder pulls 'Intimate Encounters' option to ward off sleazy men
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 3 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 4 Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.