TUI expects cruising to be back to pre-coronavirus levels within a year

According to TUI Cruises, the demand for cruises will be back to normal – pre-coronavirus – levels within a year, The Telegraph has reported.

TUI, one of the world’s leading travel companies and the parent of UK and Ireland brand Marella Cruises, said that about half of passengers whose cruises have been cancelled have already rebooked.

TUI, which has invested heavily in cruises in recent years, was forced to cancel and delay itineraries due to the risks from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Marella Cruises has already suspended cruise ship holidays until the June-end and will retire Marella Celebration earlier than planned.

TUI chief Wybcke Meier reportedly told The Telegraph that even as dozens of cruises had to be cancelled, she was positive that the business would bounce back quickly.

‘We are convinced that in the long-term the demand for premium and luxury cruises will not change,’ Meir said. ‘We will see the demand for cruises return to pre-crisis level within 12 to 18 months.’

Earlier, Which? alleged that the UK’s leading travel companies, including TUI, were failing in their legal duty to issue refunds on trips impacted by coronavirus within 14 days. Major travel companies and airlines were withholding up to £7billion worth of cash refunds on cancelled holidays, the consumer group said.

‘The Government must urgently set out how it will support travel firms and airlines to ensure they can meet their legal obligations to refund customers for cancelled travel plans – and avoid permanent damage to trust and confidence in the travel industry,’ Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said.

Wizz Air flights resume partial services from London Luton

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has resumed a portion of its flights from London’s Luton airport today, reports said online.

While the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office continue to advise against all non-essential foreign travel, Wizz Air plans to operate 10 per cent of its scheduled flights for passengers with essential journeys.

The flight schedule will be to selected airports in Europe, including Budapest, Burgas, Lisbon, Sofia, Tenerife, Tel Aviv and Varna, subject to no further restrictions. The airline had planned to resume flights to Romania but authorities in Bucharest have extended their lockdown restrictions.

Wizz Air has resumed flights from London Luton airport after implementing new Covid-19 guidelines for staff and passengers. The airline will operate these flights with strict health and safety measures due to ongoing social distancing regulations, including new physical distancing for passengers while boarding. The flights will be disinfected overnight, and cabin crew will hand out sanitising wipes to passengers and will be required to wear masks and gloves on all flights.

Wizz Air UK’s managing director, Owain Jones reportedly said: ‘As we restart selected Luton flights to provide an essential service to passengers who need to travel, our primary concern is the health, safety and well-being of our customers and crew. The protective measures that we are implementing will ensure the most sanitary conditions possible.

‘We encourage our customers to watch our new video on how to stay safe when travelling, as well as for more details on our new health and safety measures.’