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"The virus has disrupted the plans of many travellers and tourism business. We are delighted and extremely grateful to the customers who have postponed their travels and thus contributed to the saving of the tourism industry. We also understand that some people have found themselves in a worse financial situation during this difficult time and we want to start refunds as soon as possible", says Audronė Keinytė, CEO of Novaturas Group.
According to Lithuanian law, refunds for trips that have been cancelled due to COVID-19 should be fulfilled within 90 days of the restrictions. The Company expects that the loan will help fulfil the commitments as soon as possible and plans to start refunds as early as July. Depending on the Company's financial capabilities, refunds are planned to be made gradually according to schedules that will be provided in the near future.
On 26th May Novaturas Group company in Latvia has signed an agreement with the state loan guarantee program Altum for a liquidity loan of EUR 1 million. The Estonian entity is continuing negotiations with the responsible authorities on potential business loans.
With the release of the restrictions, Novaturas Group from all Baltic markets restarts its operations starting from 1st July to Greece and Bulgaria. Aviation partners GetJet Airlines have all the necessary permits for charter flights. The Company expects to be able to offer more and more holiday destinations to its customers as restrictions continue to ease. Sightseeing trips to European countries are planned to be renewed in the near future. For those wishing to vacation in Lithuania, the Company also offered local tourism services.
The safety of travellers is the highest priority, therefore security measures are already planned at airports, transportation, hotels. Safe travel will be ensured by keeping safe distances at airports, wearing protective masks throughout the trip, additional disinfectants on planes and during transportation, and hotels also take a lot of security measures. Specific safe travel information will be provided to each traveller from their travel agent prior to the planned trip.
About Novaturas Group
Novaturas Group is the leading tour operator in the Baltics states. Since 21 March 2018, Novaturas shares have been dual-listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and on Nasdaq Vilnius.
Novaturas was established in 1999, became the market leader in the Baltics in 2004. Aside from the Baltics, Novaturas has begun offering its products in Belarus, where they are retailed through local partners.
Novaturas continues to attract new clients thanks to its attractive and diverse offering and the high quality of its services. The Group offers both summer and winter package holidays as well as sightseeing tours by coach or plane to more than 30 destinations worldwide, including the most popular holiday resorts in Southern Europe as well as select locations in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
The Group's strategy also aims to retain diverse and complementary distribution channels. Novaturas works with over 400 travel agencies, including all of the major agencies in the Baltics. It also operates retail offices of its own in main cities of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and is investing in further development of its e-commerce channel.
The Company’s asset-light business model, which is characterized by strong cash flows from operating activities and low capital expenditures, allows it to pay out a large part of its earnings to shareholders. Paying regular dividends is one of the key elements of the Company's strategy. Every year the Management Board expects to propose for distribution 70-80% of the Company’s net profit.