March 16, 2020 / 7:47 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-TUI to suspend most operations, to apply for state guarantees

* To apply for state aid guarantees

* Withdraws outlook over coronavirus impact

* Shares indicated 14% lower (Adds details, shares)

FRANKFURT, March 16 (Reuters) - European holiday operator TUI said late on it would suspend most of its operations, scrap its outlook and apply for state aid in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement came as airlines around the world also unveiled cuts to their flying schedules and job cuts after countries further tightened border restrictions.

“In this rapidly changing environment the safety and welfare of our guests and employees worldwide remains of paramount importance,” the company said in a statement.

TUI said it would withdraw its outlook provided on Feb. 11 and would not give out a new forecast in the current environment. It had previously expected underlying core earnings of 850 million euros ($947 million) to 1.05 billion euros.

Shares in TUI were indicated to open 14% lower in pre-market trade.

TUI said it had 1.4 billion euros in cash and other facilities but is considering various ways to support customers, colleagues and stakeholders.

“We are taking substantial cost measures to mitigate the earnings effect,” TUI said, adding it had decided to apply for state aid guarantees to support the business until normal operations are resumed. ($1 = 0.8976 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Hakan Ersen; editing by Thomas Seythal and Thomas Escritt)

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