In a trading statement out today, TUI said the number of UK customers who have booked a winter break is down 21% on last year. The operator has cut winter capacity 12% in anticipation of reduced demand.

Chief executive Peter Long said: "The late-booking trend seen in recent seasons has continued into winter 2009/10, which is traditionally booked later than the summer season."

Elsewhere, the lates market for summer 2009 performed well, with most of TUI's programmes sold. In the UK, charter sales were 4% down on last year, and passenger numbers were down 10%.

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