Lates summer price war unlikely, Manny claims

Lates summer price war unlikely, Manny claims

Mainstream tour operators are unlikely to spark a price war in this summer's lates market.

Speaking at the release of the Thomas Cook Group unaudited results for the six-month period ending March 31, chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said the average UK summer price was 9% up year on year.

Even with cumulative bookings 12% down on last year, he added the trade was unlikely to see the pricing bloodbaths of old.

Fontenla-Novoa said: "Had we been in this position [of low sales and a weak economy] two or three years ago before the consolidation [of the big four] I would have been really nervous.

"We're in a totally different environment, which is better and more sensible, and we've got two teams that are able to read the market."

He added the average price rise had been driven by the operator's increase in both higher value medium and long-haul sales, as well as increased surcharges.

Fontenla-Novoa said if prices are cut in the lates market, this will be largely driven by suppliers, as opposed to operators, who are suffering in the current market.

However, he expects holidays to the eurozone will pick up in the lates market as more popular destinations, such as Egypt and Turkey, run out of capacity for the peak season so forcing customers to look elsewhere.

He said destinations like Spain, which has reported an 18% drop in UK visitor numbers in the first quarter of this year, can also bounce back next year through offering better pricing.

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