fti-touristik

FTI: Possible debt cut to the German Parliament’s Committee on Tourism

BUSINESS TOURISM

The Tourism Committee of the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany is meeting today at 3 p.m. to discuss the possible debt reduction of FTI, the third largest tour operator in Europe.

The first item on the agenda of the non-public meeting is entitled “Report of the Federal Government on the possible exemption from the repayment of the aid granted to the tour operator FTI by the State Economic Stabilisation Fund (debt reduction) in order to allow another company to receive it”.

As part of the acquisition by a consortium led by Certares, an investment firm specialising in the travel and tourism sector, as recently announced, FTI will receive new funds totalling €125 million ‘for the next phase of growth and to finance its digital transformation’. However, the debt burden is significantly higher.

The agreement to acquire FTI completes the process of strengthening the company’s capital and restructuring its shareholder base, which was originally launched in September 2023.

This agreement comes as a “breather” to the concerns of the market, tour operators and hoteliers in all countries where FTI operates, as there are significant debts, but also concerns for 2024, as many hoteliers are asking for increased advances or even prepayments, creating a liquidity problem for the tour operator.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the FTI received around EUR 600 million from the Economic Stabilisation Fund (WFS). According to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, there was also a bank loan of EUR 280 million, 90 % of which was guaranteed by the federal government and the Land of Bavaria.

The Free State of Bavaria is reportedly prepared to accept a debt reduction, which will be clarified today at the meeting of the Bundestag’s Committee on Tourism.

It is recalled that other leading tourism groups, such as Lufthansa and TUI, have already repaid their loan obligations from the WSF.

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