TUI Travel PLC has reported operating income of 88 million pounds on revenues of 3.8 billion pounds for its third fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2011, compared to operating income of 56 million pounds on revenues of 3.4 billion pounds for the same period a year ago. TUI Travel PLC includes Thomson Cruises.

For the nine-month period, TUI Travel has a posted a loss of 264 million pounds compared to a loss of 410 million pounds last year.

TUI commented in a prepared statement that the Q3 results were driven by good performances in the northern region, particularly the UK and Nordic countries, by the later timing of Easter and by the non-recurrence of volcanic ash disruption. Events in North Africa, however, have continued to significantly impact the trading for the company’s French tour operators.

The company said further that in the UK, load factors and margins are ahead of last year for all the remaining months of its fiscal year. The average selling prices have improved by 4 percent year-over-year. Relatively shorter duration vacations have also proved more popular – with 10-11 and seven-night days increasing by 24 percent and 4 percent, respectively. All inclusive vacations make up 46 percent of sales to date. The proportion of bookings made online has increased from 38 percent to 40 percent.

Germany has also shown strong demand and margins have recovered following a dip last year as a result of the volcanic ash.

France has been hurting since this market is very reliant on destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, according to TUI, and there is a prevailing trend to vacation in France.

Looking further forward, TUI stated it has a satisfactory start on the winter 2011/2012 season. In the UK, however, cumulative bookings are down by 9 percent. Capacity there has been reduced by 7 percent as a result of North Africa and has been shifted to Canada, where trading is strong, according to TUI.

Load factors for the UK to date are in line with the prior year and the average selling price is up 5 percent, which reflects increases in fuel and accommodation costs, TUI stated. The season has also started well in the Nordic region. Trading in Germany is off to a good start too, but in France, bookings are off 10 percent.