Europe’s largest tour operator Tui said on Wednesday that flight disruption across the continent stifled trading in the early summer, costing €75mn and pushing the company to a loss in the third quarter of its financial year.
The travel group hailed its “first broadly break-even quarter post pandemic” and said that without the extra cost of flight cancellations and travel disruption, adjusted operating profits would have stood at €48mn in the three months to June 30. Instead, Tui booked a loss of €27mn for the period.
About 4 per cent of customers faced delays of more than three hours in May and June, Tui said. But it added that it cancelled less than 200 flights over the same period, amounting to less than 1 per cent of its summer flight schedule.
“The combination of unparalleled industry ramp-up after the Covid-19 pandemic compounded by a tight labour market, has seen the aviation industry confronted with significant operational issues and disruptions, resulting in the increase of delayed departures and flight cancellations,” the company said in a statement.
Tui said the disruption was “mainly caused by third-party suppliers and airports due to a shortage in ground handling and airports security staff, reliability issues with lease-in partners and supplier maintenance delays”.
Despite the travel chaos, the company said it was “well on track” to deliver close to pre-pandemic levels of trading this summer. Passenger numbers in the three months to June 30 were running at 84 per cent of the level in the same period in 2019.