World’s largest travel company sees earnings plummet amid 737 debacle

The world’s largest travel and tourism company Tui saw its profits crash in its third business quarter, in large part due to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes.

The company reported earnings of 22 million euros (24 million dollars) between April and the end of June, an 85-per-cent decrease compared to the same quarter the previous year, Tui said Tuesday.

Along with the trouble caused by the grounding of the 737 Max, customers booked fewer summer holidays than the year before.

Tui’s operational earnings before interest, taxes and amortization crashed by 46 per cent to 101 million euros in the quarter.

The company has 15 of the 737 Max planes in its fleet, and was supposed to received a further eight this summer. After a series of crashes involving the plane, Tui was forced to invest significant sums in replacement aircraft.

Fritz Joussen, Tui’s chairman, said the company expects its operational earnings for the business year to be 26 per cent below the previous year’s results at 1.2 billion euros.

Despite a difficult third business quarter, Tui was able to increase its revenue by 4 per cent to 4.75 billion euros. The company also expanded its business through acquisitions in popular holiday destinations.