A third of Tui stores to shut as it focuses on online booking
TUI IS set to shut a third of its UK stores in another blow to the high street as the world’s biggest travel firm prepares for a bleak summer season.
Around 166 sites will close as the former FTSE 100 operator grapples with the fallout from coronavirus.
Tui’s changes are part of a radical shift to move operations online. More than 600 retail staff will join a sales team that works from home.
It announced plans in May to cut up to 8,000 jobs around the world. Tui confirmed the redundancies yesterday.
The company’s UK and Ireland boss Andrew Flintham said that Tui is reflecting changing customer tastes as more people prefer to book online.
It leaves the firm – formerly known in the UK as Thomson – with a retail network of 350 British stores.
Meanwhile the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a series of commitments from airlines to refund passengers whose trips were cancelled, staving off the threat of enforcement action being taken.
Many carriers were criticised for not offering refunds and encouraging customers to take credit notes or vouchers instead. Under EU rules, airlines should offer a refund in cash within seven days for a cancelled flight.
Virgin Atlantic told some customers that they would have to wait up to 120 days for their money back, the regulator found. It has pledged to cut waiting times to 30 days by October.
The regulator said: “We will be monitoring Virgin’s performance particularly closely and will consider the use of formal enforcement powers if necessary.” CAA boss Richard Moriarty said: “Should any airline fall short of the commitments they have made, we will not hesitate to take any further action where required.”
Corneel Koster, chief customer officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “The huge volume of refund requests we have received, combined with the constraints on our teams, has meant that refunds have been taking longer than usual.”