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Travel giant TUI on track for ‘strong’ summer despite wildfires

FRANKFURT (AFP) – The world’s largest tourism operator TUI said yesterday it was on track to meet its full-year targets thanks to a “very good travel summer”, despite the upheaval caused by heatwaves and wildfires in Europe.

More than 5.5 million people travelled with TUI between April and June, up from 5.1 million a year earlier, helping the group to its first profitable third quarter since the start of the pandemic.

Underlying earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) rose to EUR169.4 million USD186 million, compared with a loss of EUR27 million over the same period a year earlier.

Revenues grew by more than 19 per cent to EUR5.3 billion as travel demand booms despite higher prices. “Summer 2023 is going very well and demand for holidays remains high,” CEO Sebastian Ebel said in a statement.

“The heatwave in northern Europe in June and the wildfires in southern Europe have only dampened temporarily the previously strong development,” he said.

“Overall it will be a very good travel summer and a good year for TUI in 2023.”

Wildfires forced TUI to evacuate around 8,000 guests from the Greek island of Rhodes at the end of July.

The costs for repatriation flights, compensation to customers, and lost business are expected to total around EUR25 million euros and will be reflected in the group’s full-year results, TUI said. Nevertheless, the group expects to report “a significant improvement in underlying EBIT” for the full year compared with the previous financial year.