German tour operators are expanding capacity for Croatia and Bulgaria, TUIfly has lost a court case and a new niche tour operator is being launched.
JT Touristik has added self-drive packages with self-catering apartments in Pula (Istria) and Split, as well as a cruise along the country’s Adriatic coastline from Split to Dubrovnik and various islands. In addition, the dynamic packaging specialist has increased its hotel portfolio by 30% to a total of 265 three- and four-star properties in popular destinations such as Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Split and Zadar.
Thomas Cook has also expanded its Croatia programme. There are three new hotels in the Split region, including a Sentido and a Smartline, along with four more hotels in Dubrovnik, and a five-hotel hotel on the island of Losinj.
In addition, Neckermann Reisen is expanding its Bulgaria programme by 10,000 airline seats with new weekly Condor charter flights from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt to Varna. Overall, Thomas Cook Germany will offer daily departures from Düsseldorf and five weekly flights from Frankfurt to the country this summer. “At the moment we’re virtually swamped with enquiries about trips to the Black Sea destination. That’s why we’ve increased flight capacity at short notice,” said Carsten Seeliger, head of sales, marketing and e-commerce.
TUIfly has lost a closely-watched court case over compensation for flights that had to be cancelled when large numbers of pilots called in sick last autumn. A local court in Hanover ruled that TUI has to pay €800 to a couple for a four-hour delay to their flight to Kos and €2,000 to a family of five whose holiday was completely cancelled. In total, about 800 customers are taking legal action to force TUI to pay compensation. TUI argues that it is not legally liable if pilots call in sick.
A new niche specialist tour operator Solaselect has been launched by the founder of Solamento Reisen, a service company for self-employed so-called ‘mobile travel agents’. Founder Sascha Nitsche said Solaselect will target adventure-seeking well-off travellers by offering unusual group tours focused on individual experiences and customer service.