Thomas Cook cuts capacity as Brits stay at home

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on March 30, 2011

Travel giants Thomas Cook have announced that Brits are resisting booking their annual holidays because of fears over the state of the economy. The package holiday group has therefore cut the amount of summer breaks it is offering this year, a move it can make without loss as it is not a big owner of aircraft or hotels in the UK.

The firm said that compared to other European holiday markets, the rate of bookings in Britain has noticeably slowed due to the growing economic uncertainty in the country. These figures have led Thomas Cook to dramatically slash holiday offers by one percent, after announcing as recently as February that they would in fact be increased by three percent.

Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa confirmed that while strong growth with the company’s German airline and tour operator had been seen for summer holiday bookings this year, the same could not be said for the UK market. He theorised that the weaker spending is a result of ‘fragile consumer sentiment.’

Cumulative bookings were reported to have made a six per cent jump in early February, but are now only one percent higher than they were at this time last year. Average prices are, however, still up four percent.

Fontenla-Novoa also said that the capacity cut backs were partly due to a proposed merger of Thomas Cook with the Co-operative Group travel agents. The deal has currently been delayed while it is referred to the Competition Commission.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: BA cabin crew vote for new strikes

Next post: Floods leave tourists stranded in southern Thailand