TUI Reaps Bookings Bounty From Thomas Cook Collapse

(Bloomberg) --

TUI AG said it’s set for a bumper summer as the collapse of rival Thomas Cook Group Plc stokes sales at the world’s biggest holiday company.

Shares of the German tour operator jumped as much as 13% Tuesday after it announced record January bookings, spurred by demand from the U.K., where Cook was based before folding in September.

Group-wide reservations for summer 2020 are up 14%, almost five times the pace of the increase in winter sales, with prices also higher. Chief Executive Officer Fritz Joussen said the gains are a direct result of the exit of Cook, which had served more than 20 million customers.

“I have never seen summer trading like this,” he said on a analyst call. “I see double-digit growth across all our markets for summer.” The CEO raised TUI’s revenue target and said even the higher figure could be beaten.

TUI has leased in planes through September to cope with the grounding of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max, giving it certainty over capacity supply even though the jet is due to return mid-year, according to the manufacturer. Joussen said there’s so far been no softness in bookings from the coronavirus.

TUI traded 10% higher at 945.20 pence as of 8:41 a.m. in London, where the company is listed.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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