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NEWS ROUND-UP NEWS IN BRIEF


COMMENT: “No one understands or can inspire their clients like agents do.” Mathew Prior, page 32


Premier grows to 22 shops by buying St Neots agency


John Hays receives Freedom of Sunderland


Hays Travel managing director John Hays has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Sunderland. He is pictured with the city’s mayor Barry Curran.


Thomas Cook turns to safety expert to set up charity


Thomas Cook has appointed Belinda Phipps, chairwoman of the Fawcett Society, to set up a safety charity as a legacy of the deaths of two children from carbon monoxide poisoning in Corfu in 2006. The charity, which will raise awareness of safety issues, follows the inquest into the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd last year.


BA scotches reports about charging for inflight meals


British Airways has dismissed media reports that it plans to join budget airlines and start charging for inflight meals as “complete speculation”. The airline was reported to be considering ending its long-held policy of free food and drinks on short-haul flights.


Ellacott quits Tui after 11 years to take role at Rentalcars.com


Fraser Ellacott, Tui UK and Ireland’s distribution and sales director, is to leave the business at the end of June after 11 years. Ellacott is moving to take up a


senior management position at Rentalcars.com, based near his home in Cheshire. He told Travel Weekly: “I’m


Juliet Dennis juliet.dennis@travelweekly.co.uk


High street travel agency chain Premier Travel has opened its 22nd branch after acquiring Wish You Were Here Travel.


All five shop staff have


been retained following the acquisition of the store in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, for an undisclosed sum. It was rebranded Premier Travel this week. The agency chain’s shops are


spread across East Anglia. Director Paul Waters said the Cambridge-based group did not have a set target for high street shops, but added: “Our growth is opportunity driven.” The move comes as the group


carries out a refurbishment programme across all its shops, putting foreign exchange booths in each branch as well as security alarm systems and new desks and computers. “We have taken a fresh look at


our shops,” said Waters. “It will take a couple of years to


refit them all, but so far we have refitted seven branches.” The company, which includes


leaving for personal reasons. It’s entirely about getting back to my family. I’ve had 11 fantastic years at Tui, but eight of those have been living away from home. My new job at Rentalcars is just 20 minutes from my house in Wilmslow.” Ellacott joined Manchester-based


First Choice Airways in 2005 but has been based in Luton since the merger with Tui in 2007. “It was a really difficult decision to leave,” he said. “It’s such a fantastic company and so successful. I really love my job. I


10 travelweekly.co.uk 19 May 2016


PREMIER CLASS: Linsay Flowers, Sharon Goldstone and Kelly Hanrahan’s Wish You Were Here Travel agency in St Neots is now a Premier Travel


“We are looking to change the culture... to make it more cutting edge”


tour operation Premier Holidays, plans to move to more modern premises in the summer and is using the move as a catalyst to change the ethos of the business. Group manager director Susan Papworth said: “We are looking at


wish Nick Longman [MD UK & Ireland] all the best.” Helen Caron’s current position


as managing director of Thomson Cruises will be extended and she will become distribution and cruise director. Ellacott will


start his new job in September. He was not yet able to reveal details of his role at Rentalcars.


the move as a testbed to change the culture. We are bringing a lot of change to the business. It is a fun place to work, but we are trying to make it more cutting edge. “We want to keep the younger


staff enthused.” A beach pod and a palm tree will


be introduced in the call centre, while the business is also starting an apprenticeship scheme. The two-year scheme aims to


offer successful apprentices a permanent job.


POLL


Is the number of hotel stop-sale orders you have received so far this year..?


Fraser Ellacott


40% 60% 0%


More than usual About the same Fewer than usual


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