TUI suspends vast majority of holiday packages, cruises and hotel stays

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The FINANCIAL — Due to the unprecedented escalation of COVID-19, the Board of TUI are continuously evaluating the situation and are considering a variety of actions to support their customers, colleagues and stakeholders.

Multinational travel and tourism company TUI (TUI.L) announced that it will be suspending all package holidays, cruises, and hotel operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It confirmed in a statement that it is also withdrawing the guidance it is giving to investors about how it sees its financial results for 2020 and that the Executive Board has “decided to apply for state aid guarantees to support the business until normal operations are resumed.” The group also highlighted how its Executive Board has decided to withdraw the Financial Year 2020 guidance, first communicated on 11 February 2020, and will “refrain” from issuing new guidance on how they think the company will do “under the current circumstances.” The group confirmed that it currently has cash and available facilities of approx. €1.4bn (£1.26bn, $1.56bn) and year-to-date performance had been in-line with expectations prior to Covid-19, according to Yahoo Finance.

“TUI Group has decided, in line with government guidelines, to suspend the vast majority of all travel operations until further notice, including package travel, cruises and hotel operations. This temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to global governmental efforts to mitigate the effects of the spread of the COVID-19,” company wrote.

This comes after Tui holidays booked to Spain were cancelled over the weekend. In a statement on Saturday, they said: “Following local measures put in place by the Spanish Authorities, including closing some hotel facilities and the local bars, restaurants and beaches we have made the difficult decision to cancel holidays due to travel between 14 and 16 March. “Although there is currently no advice from the UK Government against travelling to Spain it would not be the holiday experience we would want for our customers. Airlines around the world have said they would make more drastic cuts to their flying schedules, shed jobs and seek government aid after countries further tightened border restrictions because of the fast spreading coronavirus. The owner of British Airways said on Monday that it would cut flying capacity by at least three quarters in April and May, Mirror reported.

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TUI Group is the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide. The company is headquartered in Germany. The TUI Group’s share is listed in the FTSE 100 index, the leading index of the London Stock Exchange, and in the German open market. In financial year 2019, TUI Group recorded turnover of around €19bn and an operating result of €893m. The Group employs more than 70,000 people worldwide. TUI offers its 28 million customers, including 21 million customers in European national companies, integrated services from a single source, according to company.

With the virus infecting nearly every sector of the global economy, concerns are growing the world will be catapulted into a damaging recession, leading to stock markets enduring horror losses and wild swings. Shares in airlines have been badly hit with the UK government set to discuss how to help the likes of Virgin Atlantic and easyJet to prevent collapse. Shares in easyJet and TUI AG slumped 21 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively, Metro wrote.

Also, American Airlines has suspended 75% of its long-haul flights from the US beginning on Monday, March 16, as a result of tightened health and safety measures and decreased demand. The suspended service will last through May 6, according to Wales Online.

At the weekend, Jet2 ordered planes heading for Spain to perform a dramatic U-turn and announced that it would no longer fly to Lyon, Grenoble, Paris and Nice until at least April 26. In the US, President Trump extended his European flight ban to the UK and Irleland, travellers returning home from abroad were stuck in line for hours at major airports for screenings and certain states like California and Illinois ordered restaurants and bars to close. Large cruise companies are also suspending sailings amid the global coronavirus outbreak, The Sun.

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Apple, Nike and other retailers announced closing many or all of their stores. Read more here.

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