TRAVEL company TUI could be opening a new branch in Castlepoint later this year. 

The airline operator, formerly called Thomson Airways, has started recruiting for new job roles at the Bournemouth shopping centre – a place it currently doesn’t have a branch. 

Managers, assistant managers and travel advisors are all being sought with salaries up to £26,500 being offered. 

Nothing has been fully confirmed yet and it’s not clear where the new branch could go. TUI was approached over the weekend for more details. 

A spokeswoman for Castlepoint said: “We have no new signed tenancies to confirm at present but are in discussions with a number of exciting brands keen to join the Castlepoint line-up and we look forward to sharing more information in due course.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Tui said it expects underlying earnings to jump by at least a quarter over 2023-24 (PA)

In the application, TUI said it is looking to turn each successful applicant into a “destination expert so that you can recommend and sell holidays, cruise, UK breaks and additional products”. 

TUI also has a travel agent branch in Wimborne Road, Winton, and another in Poole town centre. It had a shop in Saxon Square, Christchurch, until it was closed in May 2021. 

It also offers flights from Bournemouth Airport to Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, Kefalonia, Rhodes, Zante, Ibiza, Lanzarote and Menorca, as well as Antalya and Dalaman, both in Turkey. 

Last month, the business said its pre-tax loss was cut from £232.3m in the final three months of 2022 to £87.9m in the same period in 2023. 

During that period, TUI made its “highest ever revenues” of £3.7 billion, up 14.7 per cent on a year earlier. 

Around 3.5 million customers used TUI’s services, which include planes, cruise ships and package holidays. 

That is a 6 per cent increase on the year before, despite prices increasing. 

Chief executive Sebastian Ebel said: “We are on track, we are gaining customers and we are growing. We are accelerating our transformation quarter by quarter. 

“We have goals that we are consistently implementing. In a persistently challenging environment, people’s high willingness to travel ensures strong economic development in all areas of the group. 

“This reiterates our expectations for the year as a whole. We want to increase our revenue by at least 10 per cent and our operating result by at least 25 per cent.”