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TUI books big loss but guests return

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Frankfurt - The world's largest tourism operator TUI reported another big loss in the last quarter but passenger numbers recovered significantly from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the German group said Tuesday.


"The path out of the pandemic is becoming increasingly clear. Demand for travel is high across all markets," TUI CEO Fritz Joussen said in a statement.


Between October and December "more than four times as many guests travelled with TUI" as in the same period the year before, with the total climbing to around 2.3 million, the group said.


"Only at the end of November and in December was there a short-term dampener due to the Omicron variant," the tourism operator said.


TUI expects traveller numbers to sit at the lower end of its bracket of "60 to 80 percent of pre-pandemic capacities" for the European winter season, which runs either side of the New Year.


Looking forward, the group sees a "very strong booking dynamic for summer 2022".


Hotels, crusies and chartered flights -- the core of TUI's business -- were severely impacted by the pandemic crisis.


In TUI's last financial year, which runs from October to September, the group had a net loss of 2.48 billion euros ($2.83 billion).


The group was in the red again in its first quarter of the new financial year, losing 384.3 million euros between October and December -- but more than halving its net loss from the same period in the previous year.


TUI is in the midst of a vast restructuring project undertaken in the first half of 2020 to tackle the pandemic, including the closure of 8,000 jobs worldwide.


"All measures of the efficiency programme launched in 2020 have already been implemented," the group said.


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