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13.03.14 News TECHNOLOGY TRENDS


Tui looks to recruit from online giants


TUI TRAVEL is targeting tech specialists for recruitment in a bid to better understand the search and social media phenomena. Speaking at TTG’s Tomorrow’s


Travel Leaders dinner this week, chief executive Peter Long said direct experience of these companies was vital for the tour operator’s future. He added: “We are recruiting


people from companies like Google and Facebook; we need to know how these guys think as it is better than second-guessing.” Long said this was part of efforts


to tap into the growing opportunities appearing as a result of technology and urged the 30 Under 30 group to do likewise in their own businesses. “You don’t have to understand


how to program but you have to understand how it’ll fit into your business,” Long insisted. He added effective bosses also


need to learn to be more hands-off and let staff get on with their jobs. He said: “You have to rely on people


around you. Give them responsibility and let them make mistakes.” With travel being so unpredictable,


COVERSTORY


companies have to make additional efforts to survive. Long said the operator writes into its accounts each year £40-£50 million in case of emergencies. This contingency planning would have come in useful during last year’s issues in Egypt, when customers had to be evacuated from Red Sea resorts.


‘We believe in the GDS’: Ryanair signs Travelport deal after 10-year hiatus


Gary Noakes


RYANAIR IS to appear on Galileo and Worldspan ahead of expansion into primary airports in the latest part of its move away from being an ultra- low cost carrier. The deal with Travelport, which


goes live on April 2, permits the sale of all Ryanair ancillaries and will be followed by a package aimed at business travellers with extras including flexible ticketing and fast-track security. The switch to a more conventional


model is aimed at filling the 175 aircraft that the airline has on order for delivery by 2018. Chief marketing officer Kenny


Jacobs said the partnership with Travelport and the move into primary airports would see the current 81.5 million passengers grow to 110 million by 2019, with half of this growth coming from expansion into mainstream airports. He declined to give details of


locations, but said talks with around 100 were ongoing. Currently, 19 million Ryanair


passengers (22%) are travelling on business. “With this partnership we can double the quantity,” he said.


Time Travel This week in...


1964


Tui’s Peter Long addressed the Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders dinner


“Abta rejects Interflora plan for


agents:” Abta told the florist that “members will not be responding” to invitations to become sales outlets after Interflora invited agents to earn 15% commission on flowers. Abta said members “expect generally to operate solely as travel agents” and “would not wish to impinge upon other people’s business”.


13.03.2014 07


“I would probably say this would take us two years.” However, the airline admits it has


no corporate accounts or agreements with travel management companies signed. Jacobs said Ryanair was being


transformed, under a plan called “Always Getting Better” in the same way that Ikea, Aldi and Skoda had changed. “In a year, we will have moved


forward,” he said. Asked about the airline’s poor relations with the trade, he said: “You are seeing a new Ryanair. When we walked away a decade ago,


Travelport’s Kurt Ekert (left) and Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs announced the partnership on Tuesday


it was the right decision at the time. We believe in the GDS.” Agents will not be surcharged for


booking Ryanair on the GDS although the 2% credit card charge will apply. Jacobs said Ryanair’s website would be relaunched next month, mobile boarding passes introduced in May and a bookable app in June. Ryanair and Travelport have


signed a deal for an undisclosed number of years but there is a break clause after one year. Talks have taken place with Amadeus and Sabre and Jacobs did not rule out signing deals with them.


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