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Travel firm Tui has seen a sharp jump in bookings for 2021 as customers make early plans for next year.

The UK’s largest tour operator said bookings for next summer were up by a “very promising” 145%.

News of a bounce-back came as Tui posted a €1.1bn (£995m) loss for the three months to June as lockdown brought the travel industry to a halt.

Tui’s travel operations restarted in Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Egypt in mid-May.

In late July, the company said it would shut 166 High Street stores in the UK and Ireland. Bookings plunged 81% for this summer and are 40% lower for a scaled-back winter programme.

And the industry’s hopes of saving the rest of this summer were dealt a blow with new restrictions travel to Spain, and growing worries that France could be put on a quarantine list.

But Tui said on Thursday it was now seeing “encouraging signs of customer demand” as travel restrictions globally start to ease.

Tui also said it had agreed compensation with aircraft maker Boeing over the prolonged grounding of 737 Max planes.

The travel firm is to receive “staggered” compensation over the next two years, credits against future orders and a deferral of 61 aircraft deliveries. The exact amount of compensation has not been disclosed.

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