Successful vaccine programmes can help save the summer holiday season, the boss of Europe’s largest tour company has said.
Tui Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen told the BBC that bookings in March had hit 2.8 million and the company was expected to operate up to 75% of its normal schedule for the summer season.
Britons are set to be allowed to travel abroad for holidays from May 17 under the Government’s road map to easing coronavirus restrictions.
Where can I travel abroad this summer? Destinations with low Covid rates and effective vaccination roll outs
‘We are confident that we will have a decent summer’
Pointing to the success of vaccination programmes in the UK, US and Europe, Mr Joussen told the broadcaster: “We are still confident that we will have a decent summer.
“All medical advice we are getting as a company says that existing vaccines are working with existing variants.
“Now they might be less efficient sometimes, but still it’s much better than not being vaccinated.”
Mr Joussen also said he thinks a negative test result would be just as effective as a vaccine passport in preventing the spread of the virus, though he admitted the tests would need to be cheaper for the strategy to be successful.
EasyJet ‘ramping up’ flights
The comments by the Tui Group chief executive come after EasyJet announced that it was “ramping up” services for the summer holiday season.
The budget airline’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said he expected most major European destinations to be on the government’s “green list” this summer.
The carrier expects to fly up to 20% of 2019 capacity levels between April and June, with most countries planning to resume flying at scale in May.
EasyJet flew just 14% of its 2019 flight programme between October and the end of March.