TUI Scraps 8,000 Jobs, Remaps its Tourism Strategy
TUI, the world's biggest tour operator, has announced plans to scale back its global operations and cut up to 8,000 jobs as it prepares for a weaker travel and tourism market following the coronavirus pandemic.
According to CNN, the company, though, is hopeful that it can begin reopening hotels in Europe in the coming weeks as governments gradually lift lockdowns.
"TUI is ready for an early resumption of travel activities in Germany and Europe," the company said in a statement Wednesday, adding that hotels and clubs on the continent are "ready to welcome holidaymakers."
TUI posted a loss of €741 million ($804 million) in the first three months of the year and needed a €1.8 billion ($2 billion) loan from the German government as travel bans and lockdowns brought its business to a standstill. The company, which is headquartered in Germany, operates cruise ships, five airlines and more than 400 hotels, employing about 70,000 people worldwide.
It is now aiming to reduce its costs by 30%, which could shrink its workforce by up to 8,000 positions. TUI will emerge from the crisis a different company and "will find a different market environment than before the pandemic," it said, noting that it will reduce its presence around the world, and increase local and off-season offerings.
TUI has unveiled plans for increased hygiene and protection measures at airports, hotels and on cruises. These include requiring the use of face masks, limiting the number of guests in restaurants and reducing the number of people on board cruises. Passenger entry and exit from from airplanes will be staggered.
The company's plan to restart tours follows Ryanair's announcement on Tuesday that it hopes to restore 40% of its flights starting in July and restart flying from most of its 80 bases across Europe.
But moves to restart travel come without much clarity on whether Europe's borders will reopen in time to welcome tourists. The world's most visited region is bracing for a dramatic drop in travelers this summer and there are concerns that fresh outbreaks and newly imposed quarantine measures could derail efforts to salvage at least part of the season.
TUI said it is in "intensive talks" with tourism ministries in places such as Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Austria and the Balearic Islands on how a gradual opening could work.