HANOVER, GERMANY — TUI Group, the Hanover-based leisure, travel, and tourism company, is continuing to plan for a full replacement of its widebody fleet with Boeing 787s and its narrowbody fleet with Boeing 737 MAX jets.

However, the progress of this fleet renewal has been hindered by the more than 20 months of grounding of the 737 MAX planes, the border closures that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, and delays in delivery from Boeing.

TUI Group plans to expand its narrowbody fleet across its five subsidiaries; TUI Airways U.K., TUI fly Belgium, TUI fly Netherlands, TUI fly Germany, and Sweden-based TUI fly Nordic. The Max 8 and Max 10 will be the main aircraft for these subsidiaries. The company operates from around 30 bases in Europe and flies customers to its more than 400 hotels and 16 cruise ships in various destinations worldwide. While most of the capacity is used for its own hotel and cruise customers, TUI fly Belgium also sells a small portion of seats on a standalone basis. In the financial year ending September 30, 2022, the company served 16.7 million customers, an increase of 212 percent from the previous year. Most of the customers flew on TUI's own airplanes, and the average occupancy rate was well above 90 percent.

TUI Group has placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 MAX jets, and in 2018, made the decision to switch 18 of the orders for 737 MAX 8s to the Max 10s, becoming the first European operator to select the largest variant of the MAX Family jets. The 737 MAX 10 can accommodate up to 230 passengers in a single-class layout, with 20 more seats than MAX 8.

The company has received 37 MAX 8 jets to replace its older and less fuel-efficient Next-Generation 737s. While the company had expected to receive more aircraft during its latest financial year, only 10 MAX 8s were delivered due to supply chain problems at Boeing. Additionally, the supply of spare parts for the maintenance and overhaul of the TUI fleet was also affected by the same issues.

Despite the recent challenges faced by Boeing, TUI Group has announced that it has no plans to alter its strategy of sourcing all its aircraft from the American aircraft manufacturer, Marco Ciomperlik, chief airline officer of TUI Group, confirmed.