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Leisure Travel Giant TUI Expects ‘No Impact’ of Sanctions on Business

TUI Group

Holiday travel giant TUI Group said this week that sanctions on the company’s largest single shareholder, Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, will have no lasting impact on business, the company, customers and employees.

“Our company is run by the executive board, like any German public limited company, and not by the shareholders or the supervisory board. We therefore assume that any restrictions or sanctions against Mr Mordashov will not have any lasting negative consequences for us as a company,” said TUI CEO Fritz Joussen in a memo to the staff.

Joussen acknowledged however that concerns over how the war will affect business were “legitimate and important”. 

CEO Fritz Joussen presented TUI Group's Q1 results during the annual general meeting in Hanover.

TUI CEO Fritz Joussen

“We are monitoring the developments intensively in order to assess possible consequences and to be able to put plans into place, if necessary,” he said, adding that TUI was no longer represented with companies in Russia and Ukraine. 

He stressed that in order to ensure the safety of customers, the company will make adjustments in some areas, such as flight routes and cruise destinations. 

“We are in contact with the employees of service providers in Ukraine who work for us and are supporting them as best we can to keep themselves and their families safe. TUI Cruises is also intensively looking after crew members from Ukraine who are employed on board our fleet of ships,” he said.

Russian shareholder resigns from TUI’s supervisory board

Russian billionaire Alexey A. Mordashov. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Sikarin Thanachaiary

Earlier this week, the EU imposed sanctions on Mordashov, who had been a shareholder in TUI AG for 15 years and holds around one third of the company. Two thirds of the shareholders are private and institutional investors and come from Germany, the EU, the UK and the US.

In response, Mordashov resigned from TUI’s supervisory board with immediate effect and formally declared the resignation of his mandate to the company. 

The EU clarified that sanctions concern Mordashov as a shareholder, not TUI AG and thus have no impact on the company.

It should be noted, that TUI is one of Greece’s main partners having pledged to double the number of its customers to Greece in 2022 over 2021. During a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Joussen said the company was planning on bringing some 3 million customers to Greece this year.

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