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heat and hope Tui boss ‘optimistic’ summer holiday season can be saved with successful vaccine programme

Tui Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen said the company expects to operate up to 75pc of its normal schedule this summer

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A TUI Group aircraft in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Photo: Deposit

A TUI Group aircraft in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Photo: Deposit

A TUI Group aircraft in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Photo: Deposit

The boss of Europe’s largest tour company has said he is “optimistic” the summer holiday season can be saved with successful vaccine programmes.

In an interview with the BBC, Tui Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen said bookings in March had hit 2.8 million, with the company expecting to operate up to 75pc of its normal schedule for the summer season.

Britons are set to be allowed to travel abroad for foreign holidays from May 17 under the Government’s road map to easing coronavirus restrictions.

Pointing to the success of vaccination programmes in the UK, US and Europe, Mr Joussen told the broadcaster: “We are still confident that we will have a decent summer.

“All medical advice we are getting as a company says that existing vaccines are working with existing variants.

“Now they might be less efficient sometimes, but still it’s much better than not being vaccinated.”

Ryanair has also said it expects to operate 80pc of its normal capacity this summer.

The Irish Government has said eight out of ten adults could have received a first vaccine dose by the end of June, but continues to warn that people shouldn’t plan on overseas summer holidays this year..

Mr Joussen also said he thinks a negative test result would be just as effective as a vaccine passport in preventing the spread of the virus, though he admitted the tests would need to be cheaper for the strategy to be successful.

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