Tui is not planning to axe more jobs than already announced as part of a speeded up digital transformation programme, according to company chief executive Fritz Joussen.

The Tui Group announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs and reduce costs by 30% in May. Asked this week whether the plans had been revised in light of the continuing Covid pandemic, Joussen said: “We said 8,000 roles may go. This is a global number.”

The group employed more than 71,000 staff at the turn of the year.

Joussen acknowledged there would be job losses in UK shops, insisting: “The main effect [on jobs] will be seen with the digital transformation and the closure of shops.

“Everything we do now will be digital first. We didn’t cut any investment in our digitalisation transformation.”

Speaking as Tui reported third-quarter results to the end of June, Joussen noted: “We are closing retail estate at Tui UK.”

The company announced the closure of 166 high street agencies in the UK and Ireland at the end of July and is in consultation with staff.

However, 70% of the 900 staff affected could be retained either by joining a new homeworking sales and service team to replace third-party contact centres overseas or filling vacancies across Tui’s 350 remaining high street stores.

Asked if this would be the full extent of UK shop closures, Joussen told Travel Weekly: “There is never a full extent [of closures]. The question is how customers buy over time.

“My personal view is that it’s likely we will have real estate for quite a time.”

He argued: “Business came back online first – that is pretty clear.” But he added: “Sometimes online costs go up because of search and then you are happy to have the customer comparison with shops.”

Joussen said there were no plans for shop closures in Germany, pointing out: “In Germany, there are a lot of independent agencies. In the UK it is very different.

“We largely don’t work with UK independent agencies. We have to close [UK shops] because we have too much supply.”