Tui undoubtedly put a dampener on all of our spirits a couple of weeks back with the news that it would be cancelling all trips up to and including 10 July, disappointing holidaymakers everywhere.

The tour operator had previously planned to restart travel on 1 July, but due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions, it was forced to delay yet again.

However, it appears as though things are looking up as the travel giant has revealed that its UK market plans to resume partial operations this summer.

Thanks to the easing of travel restrictions in Europe, Tui is confident that markets including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland will also be able to resume partial operations to a limited number of destinations from mid-June and beginning of July.

The travel giant currently anticipates remaining markets such as the UK and Nordic regions will follow suit later in the summer.

In addition to the two fully booked flights launched by Tui from Germany to Majorca yesterday (15 June), a further 20 departures are planned in the coming days, to include Faro as a second destination.

From July, a variety of destinations, including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, will also be offered.

The travel group is planning to operate around 30 per cent of its original capacity in Q4 2020.

In terms of sailings, Tui Cruises is planning to restart operations at a reduced capacity with short three to four-day itineraries in the North and Baltic seas this summer.

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, while Marella Cruises will follow later in the summer in line with the relaxing of UK guidelines.

Examples of Tui’s new safety protocols across its portfolio include:

Tui Flights

  • 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, Tui’s modern aircraft fleet is already installed with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter systems on board with vertical air flow providing fresh air quality during flight

Tui Hotels & Resorts

  • Launching a ten-point plan for 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

Tui Cruises

  • Increased hygiene standards on board
  • Health questionnaires, pre-boarding screening (for both crew and guests, e.g. temperature scan, staggered boarding)
  • Maximum of 10 in kids’ clubs
  • Limited number of guests in theatres, spa and gym
  • No self-service restaurants

Tui Destination Experiences

  • 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

In other encouraging news, Tui has also revealed its latest booking developments for summer 2020, winter 2020/21 and summer 2021.

In a statement, the group said: “Our summer booking position is currently around 25 per cent sold and ASP is up 14 per cent, 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 bookings for our summer holidays over the last week with Germany and Belgium seeing strong recovery week on week.

“Additionally, inter 2020/21 bookings for UK are up six per cent with ASP up five per cent 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.”

Visit tui.co.uk for more information.