In an interview on Saturday with German newspaper Rheinische Post, Tui's executive chairman, Fritz Joussen, says that he expects this summer to be "relatively normal". Vaccination, he believes, will make travel restrictions unnecessary.
"All our market research indicates that there is a great desire for travel after the hard times caused by coronavirus. When we are able to protect risk groups from infection, restrictions can be drastically reduced."
However, he acknowledges that the first quarter of the year will be difficult and that 2021 will be a year of transition before tourism regains the level of mobility that existed before the crisis.
Joussen adds that tourism travel will grow faster than business travel. "Videoconferencing will continue to replace some meetings, but a holiday cannot be taken digitally."
The tour operator anticipates operating around eighty per cent of its usual flights this year and is looking to once more offer cruises on its sixteen ships.