TUI banking on a summer recovery after losses

The world's biggest holiday company is pinning its hopes on a summer recovery.

That would help ease TUI's strained finances after it sunk to a loss of about $844 million in its first quarter.

Before the pandemic paralysed the travel industry, Germany's TUI took 23 million people on holiday a year.

But it's had to secure multiple bailouts from the German government to survive the crisis.

The firm on Tuesday (February 9) said it currently had $2.5 billion of financial resources.

In a call with reporters, its chief executive said "that should be enough until summer, until the business takes off in summer".

But there is still major uncertainty over the European travel market for the peak holiday months this year.

In Britain, TUI's biggest market alongside Germany, the government has repeatedly warned people not to book trips abroad for the summer.

And is currently in the process of tightening border controls.

TUI said progress with Britain's vaccination program should help bookings, however.

The company expects to be ready to relaunch its business in the coming weeks and said it already had 2.8 million bookings for this summer.

It added that customers were likely to book much closer to their departure date this year.

Shares in TUI fell as much as 1% in early trade.

The stock has lost 40% over the last 12 months.