Tui boss steps down in new ‘growth path’ for travel agency
he chief executive of travel giant Tui is stepping down after nearly 10 years at the helm, having led the group through the pandemic.
Fritz Joussen will leave the German holiday giant at the end of September, when he will be replaced by the company’s chief financial officer, Sebastian Ebel.
Mr Joussen – who took office in 2013 – said Tui’s survival was in serious jeopardy when the pandemic hit in March 2020, but added that bosses had saved the business and the new chief executive could bring back to growth.
The travel company recently refunded some of the Covid support money given by the German state shortly after the global shutdown.
It has received three separate stabilization packages totaling nearly five billion euros (£4.2bn) to keep it afloat despite travel restrictions and falling holiday demand.
But Tui was forced to apologize to customers earlier this month after flight delays and cancellations disrupted holidaymakers during the May half term and left families stranded at airports.
Airlines have struggled to cope with growing demand for flights coupled with severe staff shortages, leading to months of disruption for travellers.
Tui Airways canceled nearly 200 flights from Manchester Airport in June.
The firm has also been embroiled in the fallout from the war in Ukraine, with Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov forced to resign from its supervisory board after being hit by EU sanctions.
Tui claimed on Friday that he had successfully weathered the Covid storm and that his new boss would usher him into a new chapter of success.
Mr. Joussen said: “When the spring 2020 pandemic rendered us a business with no business virtually overnight, all of our attention was focused on one goal: saving Tui.
“The immediate management of the crisis, which consisted in ensuring the sustainability of the group, is now complete.
“Under new leadership, Tui is now embarking on the next chapter: a return to profitable growth – of course combined with the tasks of the crisis: debt reduction, strengthening of the balance sheet and further transformation of Tui.
“Sebastian Ebel will put TUI back on the path to growth,” he added.
Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tui, added: “Sebastian Ebel is an excellent choice for the new start after the Corona crisis.”