LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – TUI tourism group (TUI1n.DE) On Tuesday it confirmed its outlook for the full 2023 fiscal year, citing strong bookings in the summer and upcoming winter season despite extreme weather, from floods to heat waves that disrupt flights and vacations.
European airlines benefited from a bumper tourism season due to demand for post-pandemic holidays across the continent, but extreme weather dampened some optimism about a strong rebound in travel.
Summer bookings for 2023 totaled 13.7 million, up 5% from the previous summer season, the company said in a statement.
“If it had not been for the various events in recent months that were beyond our control, including the forest fires in Rhodes, we would have performed above expectations,” CEO Sebastian Ebel said in a statement.
Forward bookings were up 15% from winter 2022 and 2023, the company said, while summer bookings were at 96% of pre-pandemic levels.
Even as Europe battled extreme weather conditions that caused unprecedented levels of disruption, the company said it was on track to reconfirm that its underlying earnings before interest and taxes rose substantially for the fourth quarter and the year, with growth continuous planned for 2025 and 2026.
Eurocontrol said in July that weather-related air travel disruptions were two and a half times greater than in 2022, with thunderstorms being the main cause of delays.
Last week, the travel company said it was monitoring adverse weather conditions at its key destinations. It previously predicted losses of up to €25 million due to wildfires on the Greek islands.
Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely
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