Don’t hold out for cheap, last-minute holiday deals this summer, warns TUI

5d ago

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Anyone still holding out for a drop in the price of package holidays this summer may want to stop refreshing Tui’s website, after the travel operator warned there will be no last-minute deals anytime soon.

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Citing higher fuel charges for its planes and cruise ships, which come on top of losses during the pandemic, for the price hikes,  the company’s chief exec Fritz Joussen told the BBC that “there will be practically no last-minute offers at low prices this summer”.

The other reason is demand: the holiday juggernaut has claimed that an “unabatedly high” number of bookings for package tours — an 20% increase on summer breaks specifically — has pushed the average prices higher than usual as travellers look to jet away for their first proper summer holiday since COVID-19 first put the world on hold.

Lanzarote, one of the seven Canary Islands in Spain. (Photo by Arcangelo Piai / EyeEm / Getty)

In fact, Tui has claimed that customers are willing to spend much more on their holidays than ever, opting for longer stays and higher quality accommodation as summer tourism returns to normality since before the pandemic.

Related: Airbnb just dropped its ‘biggest change’ in a decade

After a torrid couple of years which has seen many travel operators go out of business, Tui is bouncing back in a big way, having halved its losses (£525m) in the six months to March and told shareholders to expect company profit by year’s end.

Over 1.9 million passengers have travelled with Tui so far this year — 10 times the number of people that travelled in the same months in 2021 when travel was still severely restricted.

“The strong Easter business was already the first important indicator,” revealed Joussen. “The high demand for travel and the good business performance now confirm our forecasts: 2022 will be a good financial year with a strong travel summer,” he said.

Greece is currently Tui’s hottest destination, narrowly trailed by the Canary and Balearic Islands and Turkey. Although customers heading to these destinations of late might not have had the best of starts to their holidays after the operator company recently wrote to passengers asking them to bring their own food to avoid going hungry on flights.

Adult beverages tropical mixed drinks dark and stormy rum drinks by the pool (Photo by 5m3photos / Getty Images)

Tui claimed this was due to staffing issues which affected its catering lines, severely reducing the amount of hot and cold meals and snacks it could serve on services from 15 U.K. airports. Thankfully, on Tuesday, a spokesperson came out to say the issue has been resolved:

“We can confirm that the issue has now been resolved and the catering offer on board our flights will resume as normal from [today],” read a statement. “We know how much our customers value the ability to purchase food and drinks on board and we thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Now, once again, Tui can focus on meeting increased demand for its bookings, even if it is likely travellers looking to bag an eleventh-hour bargain will be left sorely disappointed this summer.

Related: 8 tips and tricks for finding a great travel deal

If you are one of those who miss out, at least have solace that you might avoid getting caught up in widespread delays. Just this week airport bosses and insiders revealed that flight cancellations and lengthy delays look set to continue from now and well into the summer.

new study by ACI (Airports Council International) has found that 66% of Europe’s airports expect flight delays to increase well into summer — that’s two-thirds of European airports. Meanwhile, the busiest day for flights this year has been predicted for mid-August.

The research into flight forecasts came as European airports posted a two year high in air passenger traffic. The ACI found that a lack of financial aid during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was a key reason behind current and upcoming issues ranging from a lack of ground staff to lengthy waits through security.

Featured photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images.

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