Britain’s biggest holiday company, Tui, says sales for the summer season are currently at 85 percent of the level of summer 2019 – and that in the past six weeks bookings have been even higher than the last pre-pandemic year.

The UK, Germany and Netherlands are showing “high momentum”.

The giant pan-European travel firm revealed the figures along with its results for the second quarter of its financial year covering January to March.

In the three months, the company took 1.9 million people abroad – almost 10 times as many as in the same period in 2021.

The usual seasonal loss was almost halved. The overall load factor – the proportion of seats filled – was 84 per cent.

The chief executive, Fritz Joussen, said: “The high demand for travel and the very good business performance confirm our forecasts: 2022 will be a good financial year.

“After two years of crisis, we expect Tui to become profitable again in the current financial year.

“This is the basis for new growth.”

The company’s capacity is almost back to 2019 levels and its net debt has fallen to €3.9bn (£3.3bn).

“After the short-term dampener due to the Omicron variant, bookings are picking up significantly,” the company said in a statement.

“In terms of the overall development of bookings for Summer 2022, Tui UK continues to lead the way, currently showing an increase of 11 per cent compared to summer 2019.

“Holidaymakers continue to book more at short notice and at the same time spend more money on their trip.”

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