Hannover, 16 June 2020. Easing of travel restrictions in Europe enables TUI to partially restart its Summer 2020 programme. European source markets to include Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland resume partial operations to a limited number of destinations from mid-June and beginning of July. We currently anticipate our remaining markets such as UK and Nordic region to follow suit later in the summer. Together with our destination partners, TUI is well prepared for a responsible and safe relaunch of tourism activities.
Restart of Summer programme 2020
Following on from the successful reopening of our hotels in Germany and Austria over the last two weeks, from mid-June and beginning of July, TUI gradually resumes flights out of Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. As a result of our integrated business model we have been in a position to restart the business quickly. Yesterday TUI restarted the summer season with two fully booked flights from Germany to Majorca. In addition to these two flights, a further 20 departures are planned in the coming days, to include Faro as second destination. We plan to offer from July a variety of destinations including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Based on our current restart dates, we are planning to operate around 30% of our original capacity in Q4 2020. TUI's Executive Board together with operational management is continuously evaluating leisure travel policies and safety guidelines, and we will manage our capacity depending on customer demand and in line with the specifications as well as requirements of the authorities in our source markets and destinations.
In this context we plan to reopen from beginning of July around 50% of our Group hotels which may increase as travel restrictions ease through the summer. We are focussing on the advantages of our vertical integration, as we can leverage our distribution power to steer bookings into our own and third party committed assets.
Having implemented comprehensive health and safety protocols on board our vessels, we also plan to begin a gradual restart of our cruise business. TUI Cruises is planning to restart operations with short three to four day cruises this summer. These “Blue Cruises” in the North and Baltic Seas with reduced capacity offer an attractive alternative for a summer holiday in Germany. Subject to the opening of further ports, TUI Cruises is planning additional longer routes as a next step. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also plans to return to service in the summer. We expect Marella to follow suit later in the summer in line with easing of UK guidelines.
Our summer booking position is currently around 25% sold and ASP is up 14%, supporting the restart of our business operations.
Since the suspension of our programme in mid-March, online enquiries have indicated that holidays remain important to our customers and we have seen our customers committing for future seasons. Following the recent easing of travel restrictions in Europe, we have seen a notable increase in bookings² for our summer holidays over the last week with Germany and Belgium seeing strong recovery week on week.
Additionally, Winter 2020/21 bookings for UK are up 6% with ASP up 5% but remain early in the booking cycle. Summer 2021 continues to look promising.
We anticipate a partial restart of our operations to result in an immediate working capital inflow and to be able to operate those with a positive contribution towards cash fixed costs.
Further source markets and destinations will reopen as government restrictions across Europe or worldwide are lifted. We continue to work through different demand scenarios as we move through the current summer and upcoming seasons. Our next planned update is scheduled for 13 August when we will report our FY20 Q3 results.
The safety, health and wellbeing of both guests and colleagues remain paramount and we are working intensively alongside both governments of the source markets and destinations to prepare our operations for safe travel. The safety of our guests and colleagues will not be compromised. At every step of the journey we will offer a holiday experience that is both responsible and as relaxed as possible for our guests.
Examples of the safety protocols we will operate across our value chain include:
- Staggered boarding in small groups
- Customers and crew will be required to wear face masks on board our aircraft
- Optional pre-order of food and beverages
- Cashless payments on board flights
- Additionally, our modern aircraft fleet are already installed with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter systems on board with vertical air flow providing fresh air quality during flight
Hotels & Resorts
- Launching a ten-point plan for our hotel operations and partners of which includes:
- Increased hygiene and cleaning standards in all our hotels and training of staff by independent auditors
- In a few countries, local regulations will allow self-service buffets for certain items (e.g. packaged food and beverages)
- Increased outdoor seating to be prioritised
- Alternative entertainment and sports programme avoiding close contact
- Increased hygiene standards on board
- Health questionnaires, pre-boarding screening (for both crew and guests, e.g. temperature scan, staggered boarding)
- Max of ten in kids’ clubs
- Limited number of guests in theatres, spa and gym
- No self-service restaurants
- Digital updates to customers to ensure smooth meet & greet on arrival
- Increased hygiene procedures on board transfer buses and increased offering of private transfers
- Increased availability of outdoor activities, smaller groups and private tours
- 24-7 contact centre support available via text, email or TUI app, providing tailored destination advice, including support on local medical guidelines
1 These statistics are up to 7 June 2020, shown on a constant currency basis and relate to all customers whether risk or non-risk
² Gross bookings basis excluding cancellations