The FTI Group looks back on a “changeable business year with many challenges”. “The year that has just passed has been exhausting and difficult to plan in a tough environment,” said CEO Ralph Schiller. “Last winter, so to speak, did not take place at incoming bookings and the summer only started around June.” Since then, there has been a surge in demand and over 30 percent more sales have been achieved in the short term than in the pre-Corona summer 2019.
“Nevertheless, we cannot compensate for the winter and the lack of advance bookings for the summer,” Schiller sums up and points out that the year as a whole was closed better than last year. The clear winners with the strongest demand in the 2020/2021 travel year are Turkey, Greece, Spain, Dubai and, on the long-haul routes, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.
Even in winter at short notice
For the winter, too, it runs mainly at short notice. The majority of bookings are made with departures within the next six weeks. “People book on sight so that they can estimate what will be possible,” reports the managing director. Compared to the 2018/2019 winter season, the company is still in the red, but has been observing a “positive catch-up process” since September.
For the summer of 2022, the advance bookings are already in the high double-digit percentage range above those of the summer of 2019. Customers would find the summer of 2022 to be safe, according to Ralph Schiller. The Flex tariffs also contribute to this, as “almost every second customer” is booking.
The new travel insurance fund also provides a financial safety net as insolvency protection for package tours from major tour operators. On the other hand, this increased security also leads to a “small price increase”.
Expansion of the exclusive charter
For the coming summer season, FTI has again launched numerous exclusive flights with European Air Charter. Classic sun destinations such as Egypt, Greece and the Canary Islands are connected several times a week from Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Munich and Frankfurt. In addition to the FTI’s own, the company is adding “intensive collaborations” with Condor, the Lufthansa Group, Sun Express, Sundair and Emirates.
In terms of accommodations, FTI relies not only on its own hotel brands but also on cooperation with leading brands, including Hilton, Accor, Pickalbatros, Sunrise Hotels, Rixos, Grecotel, Jumeirah and Orascom.
In Egypt, in addition to hotels in Hurghada, El Gouna and Marsa Alam, offers can now again be booked in Sharm el Sheik and Taba Heights. In Greece, FTI is not only expanding its portfolio on the large islands, but also on the small islands of Zakynthos, Skiathos, Samos and Naxos. Fly & Drive packages are now available in Crete, Rhodes and Chalkidiki.
In Turkey, FTI is expanding its range of five-star hotels and is also adding resorts specially geared to families, such as the Gold Islands Sands Hotel, which FTI has exclusively in its program.
In the area of self-travel, guests can choose from around 50 new accommodations, and the operator has expanded its portfolio, especially in the Netherlands. French Polynesia expands the range of long-distance destinations.