Holiday giant Tui has more than halved its losses for the past six months as it hailed a strong recovery in customer demand for the summer.
The company reported an earnings loss of 614.5 million euros (£525 million) for the half-year to March 31, following a 1.3 billion euros (£1.11 billion) loss for the same period a year earlier.
It told shareholders it could return to profit by the end of the year as a result.
Tui said it expects a “strong” summer and has already achieved 85% of the booking levels seen in summer 2019, before it felt the heavy impact of the pandemic.
It said the latest quarter was “significantly improved” as the easing of pandemic restrictions helped boost bookings.
The travel group said its UK operation “continues to lead the way” for summer bookings, which currently show an 11% increase against the levels seen in summer 2019.
Tui said it expects overall bookings for the summer to “almost reach” levels from 2019.
It has been buoyed by holidaymakers booking “more at short notice” and also spending more money on each trip, the firm said.
Meanwhile, revenues for the past half-year increased more than five-fold to 4.5 billion euros (£3.8 billion) against the same period a year earlier, when the firm was still struggling with Covid-19 restrictions.
Tui chief executive officer Fritz Joussen said: “The high demand for travel and the very good business performance confirm our forecasts.
“2022 will be a good financial year. Capacity almost reaches pre-corona level of 2019.
“After two years of crisis, we expect Tui to become profitable again in the current financial year with a significantly positive underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax).
“This is the basis for new growth.”