Summer bookings up, says major European travel firm

Reuters, Tuesday 29 Mar 2011

Business 'performing well' given Egypt and Tunisian unrest: Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook, Europe's second biggest travel firm, said summer bookings were ahead of last year, with strong growth in Germany and Northern Europe offsetting a weaker picture in the UK.

The firm said on Tuesday cumulative UK summer bookings were up 1 per cent, although the rate of booking intake had slowed noticeably as a result of continued economic uncertainty.

It said its Airlines Germany cumulative summer bookings were up 9 percent, while Northern Europe's were up 11 per cent.

"Overall, the business is performing well, given the disruption caused by the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia," said Chief Executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

The firm warned in February that unrest in Egypt and Tunisia would wipe around 20 million pounds sterling (US$32.05 million) off its second-quarter profit.

On Monday, rival TUI Travel's Chief Executive Peter Long said it would factor in a hit of up to 40 million pounds sterling each year from natural disasters and conflicts.

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