TUI moots hiring freeze over virus

TUI Group Headquarters
Year to date, bookings are ahead at TUI

TUI Group said that it was looking at hiring freezes and the postponement of “non-critical projects” as it addressed the impact of COVID-19 on performance.

The company said that “given that the situation is still evolving, it is not yet possible to estimate the potential financial impact across our business”.

The group said that the financial year had started “exceptionally well” in terms of booking trends but that since the announcement of the first COVID-19 cases in Northern Italy, Tenerife and the related developments in other regions, “in line with the industry, we have experienced weaker bookings in the last week, especially for our remaining, near-term and lower volume winter season”.

TUI said that due to the strong trading prior to last week, “year to date bookings remain well above prior year”. The group said it had only seen a marginal effect on its operations, for example due to necessary re-routing of Mein Schiff 6 in Asia.

The company said that it had set up task forces across all its markets and was in close contact with the relevant authorities and ministries. All TUI companies, including hotel and resorts, cruise companies, airlines, were following predefined and established procedures to prevent infections and had increased their hygiene measures.

The group said it was driving additional and various cost measures such as budget reduction in administrative areas, hiring freezes as well as the postponement of non-critical projects. It was also  reviewing options for capacity management, if needed.

The company concluded: “TUI is experienced with handling external challenges, and therefore we are confident to deal with the current situation in the best interest of our stakeholders. Based on our resilient business model, the double diversification across our markets and destinations and our robust financial structure, we are well positioned to deliver sustained growth going forward.”