In what one French travel trade journal described as “a shock,” TUI France last week announced a restructuring of the French unit in which Pascal de Izaguirre is no longer CEO of the company. In a press release, the TUI Group—it is the largest tour operator in Europe—announced his departure “in agreement with the TUI Group.” De Izaguirre retains his role as head of Corsair International, a TUI airline subsidiary.
“I leave in total agreement with the TUI Group, without any acrimony and return to Corsair with passion,” he told the French trade travel publication tourmag. “I have a lot of regrets to leave here the teams with whom we worked for eight years. years, with results that could have been better but are not dishonorable.”
“But, I resigned, I was not dismissed,” emphasized de Izaguirre. “But it is with great regret, and I have a lot of compassion towards the Transat teams in particular. But that’s the life of a big group. ”
TUI France used to be Transat France, the French unit of Montreal-based Transat. TUI announced its acquisition of the company in May 2016. The process resulted in a messy reorganization in which scores of employees were let go—a process made all the lengthier because of France’s strict worker protection laws.”
The first to go in that process was First to go was Patrice Cardec, president and CEO of the company—it also includes the popular brand, Look Voyages—who was terminated in November 2016 and replaced by Pascal de Izaguirre, who was brought to Transat from his position at Corsair.
The Transat acquisition made TUI the market leader in both Germany and France, the top two U.S. source markets from continental Europe and the Number 5 and 7 overseas source markets overall.
The restructuring announced last week follows last month’s financial reports by the company, in which earnings were disappointing, saying in a statement that TUI described 2018 as a “challenging year, in particular for tour operators”.