* Q3 underlying operating loss of 27 mln euros
* Summer 2022 bookings in qtr at 90% of 2019 levels
* Incoming CEO sees stable demand in challenging environment
Aug 10 (Reuters) - TUI, one of the world's
largest tour operators, took a 75 million euros ($77 million)
hit in the third quarter from flight disruption across Europe,
pushing it to a loss on Wednesday.
Incoming Chief Executive Sebastian Ebel said there would be
significant but lower costs related to air disruption in the
fourth quarter, with air traffic normalizing in recent days.
"The whole system is still very fragile, and we have days
with hardly any disruptions, and we have weeks and days with a
lot of disruptions," Ebel, who is replacing long-time chief
Friedrich Joussen in October, told journalists.
The extra costs however come as demand holds up, with summer
holiday bookings on track to reach near pre-pandemic levels in
2022. The group still expects to return to significant profits
The German company, which runs tour operators, travel
agencies, airlines, hotels and cruise liners in holiday
destinations across the world, reported an underlying operating
loss of 27 million euros for the three months to June 30.
Without the costs related to the roughly 200 flight
cancellations the company suffered, mainly affecting departures
from Manchester airport in northwest England, TUI said it would
have made an adjusted operating profit of 48 million euros in
Its shares were down 0.6% in Frankfurt and London by 0827
Airports across Europe have seen chaotic scenes in the past
few months as staff shortages led to long queues and flight
cancellations, while labor strife added to the travel sector's
TUI said summer bookings in the quarter stood at 90% of 2019
levels, and had risen to 93% in July and August as people
reserve hotels at short notice, stay longer and splurge on their
Average selling prices in the quarter were 18% ahead of
three years ago and the group said it would moderately increase
hotel prices in coming years.
Hoteliers such as IHG, Marriott and Hilton
have also seen strong demand in the quarter and
profitability inching closer to pre-crisis levels.
Bookings for the winter are at an early stage, TUI said,
with only the UK market starting to take reservations. Volumes
there were up 16% versus winter 2018/19.
Rising inflation that has tightened the cost of living
crisis could lead to lower bookings, Ebel said, so the group is
cautious when it comes to capacity, but he added he expects
stable demand in a more challenging environment.
($1 = 0.9788 euros)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich and David Holmes)