Tui, europes largest tour operator, has said that it could look to raise 1.5bn through either disposals or a capital increase once normal travel resumes.

Fritz joussen, tui chief executive, said that the company was considering selling some of its 400 hotels or its uk-based marella cruise line in order to shore up its balance sheet following the pandemic.

If you look at our balance sheet, you see relatively clearly that we have to find something like 1.5bn sometime, he said at a briefing at the frankfurt international business journalists club on wednesday night.

But, he added that a capital increase would not be imminent: with a share price of 3 to 3.20 there is nothing you can do.

The tour operator has been at the brunt of the crisis as governments shut borders and change travel advice at short notice, forcing holidaymakers to cancel plans.

In the uk, the industry has been at loggerheads with authorities over a policy of quarantining travellers for 14 days on return from certain countries with high numbers of cases, with different nations being added or withdrawn from the list on a weekly basis.

In a trading update last month, tui said that an increase in customers requesting cash refunds had cut its available funds to 2bn, down from 2.4bn in august. it also said that due to the volatility of the market, it would be forced to make further cuts to its winter holiday programme.

The company said it expects monthly cash burn to be between 100m and 300m over the next quarter but analysts at barclays estimated that it could have reached as much as 400m last month.

The hanover-based travel company separately confirmed on wednesday that it had fulfilled conditions for it to receive a second 1.2bn loan from the german government to help see the company through the fallow winter period. tui has already received just over 1bn in state-backed support.

Mr joussen said that bookings for summer 2021 were 84 per cent higher than they were at the same point last year but added that he only expected the company to return to normal levels of sales in 2022.

He also stated that the company might be forced to make more job cuts than the 8,000 it has already announced but added other jobs will be created elsewhere.

Richard clarke, an analyst at bernstein, said that in the current market, tui was more defective than the cruise lines, as it faced tough competition from nimble online competitors in the short-haul market and because more profitable long-haul travel would be last to recover.

Mr clarke added that tui had been slow to refund customers for cancelled trips, while online players such as airbnb and booking were more efficient, which could potentially push customers away from the brand.