Continued from page 40

demand returns. We know the demand is there. When quarantine restrictions to the Canary Islands were removed, our bookings were close to 900% up in a week. We saw an increase in bookings just when we had news of a vaccine. “[But] we plan not to fly more

than 20% of the capacity we could [and] there is no visibility beyond the quarter to say what demand will be next year.” Airlines UK chief executive

Tim Alderslade told a Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum conference on aviation: “The taskforce report is in the process of going to the prime minister. We hope for implementation of a test regime when lockdown ends, due on December 2, and alongside that an end to blanket travel advice.” However, Alderslade told the

conference: “Even with a test regime, the industry will require support for the next six months.” He said: “Ultimately, we want

to get to a pre-departure test, but that may take months. Passengers would have to demonstrate at the departure airport that they’ve had a negative test up to 72 hours before departure.” However, Alderslade

conceded pre-departure testing “could reduce the numbers wanting to travel”, adding: “The idea of having to do a test before flying may not be attractive for a long weekend.” Karen Dee, chief executive

of the Airport Operators Association, told the conference: “The current restrictions are planned to be in place until December 2. “But as a sector, we’re

planning for restrictions to continue for some time, possibly with short breaks.”

Fritz Joussen

Tui riles Greek hotels by delaying 2020 payments

Travel Weekly reporters

Tui is in a stand-off with Greek hoteliers over delays to payments after the company issued contract amendments that require hotel owners to wait until March 2021 for money due for stays this year. Two hoteliers told the Financial

Times newspaper they were owed more than €600,000 each by Tui. In a response to the report, Tui

said it had contacted “a small percent- age” of hoteliers in Spain and Greece “to discuss payment plans and jointly

review options” after making “a sig- nificant amount of advance payments to hoteliers for summer 2020”. Rhodes MP Nektarios Santorinios

said: “Hotels took a big risk opening this year and many have racked up losses. It will be a struggle to survive.” Steve Heapy, chief executive of

Tui rival Jet2holidays, suggested withholding money to hotels was “not right”, saying: “There are some tour operators that don’t pay their hotel partners or will pay them some time towards the middle of next year. I don’t think that’s right.” Speaking on a Travel Weekly

webcast, Heapy said: “We’ve been paying our hotel partners everything they’re owed. We pay our hotel partners because we have contracts with stipulated payment terms. It’s basically treating our partners with respect. Our hotel partners have businesses to run, they need paying.” He added: “Many hotels have

approached us that previously have been in exclusive relationships. Some hotels are tied into exclusive deals, but these contracts don’t run for ever.” Tui is reportedly in talks with

the German government about a new support package worth up to €1.8 billion. This follows a €1.2 billion aid package in September and a €1.8 billion loan in March. Fritz Joussen, Tui chief executive,

told German magazine Der Spiegel: “At the moment we must not exclude any option, not even that we need additional loans.” However, Joussen said he expects

demand to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

Emirates Group suffers half-year loss of $3.8bn

The Dubai-based Emirates Group reported a loss of $3.8 billion for the six months to September 30, down from a $320 million profit a year earlier. The Emirates airline accounted

for $3.4 billion of the half-year loss, with subsidiary dnata losing $396 million. Dnata’s travel division reported

38 19 NOVEMBER 2020

a 95% slump in sales in the six months to September as its tour operating revenue fell to just $26 million from $488 million in the same period last year. It reported an underlying loss

on tour operator transactions of $67 million due to “the significant refund volume and cancelled customer bookings”. Dnata UK travel brands Gold

Medal and Travel 2 are in the process of being merged and the Emirates Group workforce has been cut by 24% to just over 81,000. Group chairman and chief

executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed

Emirates airline lost $3.4bn in six months

Al Maktoum said: “The Emirates group recorded a half-year loss for the first time in over 30 years.” But he said: “We expect a steep

recovery in travel demand once a Covid-19 vaccine is available.”

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