TUI Board of Directors: Fleet size is now right – no pressure on state aid
Tui sees the company’s own fleet of planes now better equipped after Corona’s cutbacks and break-ins, but is still taking time on the subject of repayment of government aid. The world’s largest travel company could make more money in the summer and become more resilient, said chief financial officer Sebastian Ebel of news agencies dpa and dpa-AFX.
At present, however, it is not yet possible to predict exactly when a portion of the billions in tax-financed loans will return. Even before the pandemic, there was costly overcapacity in the flight market. “The size of the fleet we have today with our five airlines in Europe is certainly appropriate,” said Ebel. He considers that the number of machines reduced from 35 to 22 for the German Tuifly is sufficient.
The jets operate supply flights to Tui destinations and cruise ships. In the event of a peak in demand, the group reserves additional places from outside. “When it comes to taking customers to destinations with a longer flight time, we’ll need our own plane,” Ebel explained. “After Mallorca we hardly need that anymore, because we can easily buy the seats we need from others. “
Dreamliner ideas in the drawer
Before the Corona crisis, Tuifly was shortly before the start of a small long-haul fleet in which the Boeing “Dreamliner” was to be used. Tui’s CFO believes this should not be the case for years to come. “In the east, the market is very well supplied with Qatar, Singapore and the Emirates. For old plans to the Caribbean, the following applies: “Looking ahead today, we would be doing ourselves a disservice as we can very well bring our guests there with other quality airlines. If they don’t serve us well, we have airlines that have good opportunities, and Tuifly could put them in place in no time. “
The business, which nearly failed in 2020, has threatened Tui’s very existence, and the state and private owners have stepped in with needles by the billions. While Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr is preparing a capital increase after a year with a record loss and wants to repay the aid before the federal election, Tui does not want to put pressure on himself with such an announcement. “When is the right time to start the first repayments, I wouldn’t want to commit,” Ebel said. It’s not just about what’s possible, it’s also about which step makes sense when: “When you’re building and financing a house, you think twice about flipping your overdraft line of credit on your home. current account. “
In the spring of 2020, Tui had asked for financial assistance from the federal government for a good reason: “The money was really necessary (…) it was rescue in an emergency which had not been self-inflicted”, he said. declared Ebel. “Now we want to further extend our stability for the future. The group “started again so well” that it is not necessary for the moment to ask the State to exchange the convertible bond subscribed for shares. In addition, the state has a silent participation in Tui.
Farewell and outlook
The sale of larger spare parts has largely been completed. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has been integrated into the Tui Cruises joint venture operated with Royal Caribbean. According to Ebel, the idea was that the remaining 50 percent in Hapag-Lloyd two years after the sale would be worth as much as the 100 percent before – “but we don’t have to provide the funding anymore.” Such an agreement could be renewed with the British line Tui Marella. “But we will wait until Marella has another good, normal fiscal year.”
Tui also gave up its stake in a real estate company owned by the Spanish hotel chain Riu. Participation in the Riu itself is not up for grabs, Ebel said.
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