The costs were incurred on a mixture of 12 repatriation flights, compensation payouts to customers, and customer welfare expenses.
This includes the evacuation of 8,000 holidaymakers during the recent wildfire crisis in Rhodes. TUI said that travel to the Greek island accounted for only around five per cent of its summer schedule, and noted that 80 per cent of its guests had been ‘unaffected’ by the fires.
Despite this, the company otherwise reported healthy finances, with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €169 million for the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.
This is a substantial increase from the €27 million loss reported for Q3 2022, and represents the first third quarter profit since before the Covid-19 pandemic – suggesting that despite the extreme heat in some regions, the travel industry is in good health.
TUI said that the costs incurred due to the wildfires would be added to its full 2023 report, but noted that overall prospects for the year were encouraging.
Speaking to Sky News, Sebastian Ebel, Managing Director of TUI Group, affirmed that ‘the Mediterranean remains the most sought-after destination for summer holidays’, but added that his company would broaden its portfolio of destinations to mitigate against climate-related risks.
In response to the recent European heatwave, insurtech Sensible Weather announced that it was developing a parametric insurance product for extreme heat.