Holiday giant Tui Group said it was hit by further costs from summer flight chaos at airports in the last quarter but said the disruption had eased and bookings would continue to recover.
The group said while there were still some problems at airports, these had improved in the three months to the end of September.
It was revealed last month that the airport disruption, which led to widespread flight cancellations and long delays across the industry, had cost the company 75 million euros (66 million pounds) in the three months to the end of June.
Tui didn’t provide a figure for the hit last quarter, other than saying that “flight disruption costs remain at elevated levels but have continued to improve in the fourth quarter”.
The company also added that its markets and airlines division remained “significantly profitable” despite the airport woes.
It stuck by its forecast that the group would return to underlying earnings for the full year, with winter bookings at 78% of pre-pandemic levels.
Bookings have recovered to 81% of pre-Covid levels for November and December, it said.
Average selling prices are 26% higher for holidays in the winter season, a further increase from the 18% price increase in summer over 2019.
UK bookings rebounded “well above” pre-pandemic levels, while aggregate demand across the group was 91% of 2019.
Tui said the trend of holidaymakers spending more on their holidays should help protect them from the current cost hikes.
CEO Fritz Joussen and CFO and new boss Sebastian Ebel said: “The trend is towards higher quality or longer holidays with a higher total holiday budget.
“This is encouraging and shows the current importance of vacation and travel experiences in the post-corona period.”
The update showed that summer bookings in the UK were up 4% from 2019 levels.
The Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece and Turkey are still popular holiday destinations.
It said: “We are pleased that flight disruption, which was largely in the UK in May and June, is improving in the fourth quarter, albeit still at elevated levels.”
Airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick have urged airlines to cut their flight schedules after chaotic scenes as they struggled to cope with the sudden surge in demand for overseas holidays due to staff shortages.
Holidaymakers suffered from flight delays and cancellations and long queues as airports struggled with baggage handling, air traffic control and security.
Tui said last month it would seek compensation from airports for the disruption and cost cuts.