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INFORM


WORDS MOLLY DYSON


CLICK TRAVEL TO WOO SME MARKET


CLICK TRAVEL is to launch a new paid- for version of its booking platform. Following a decision to phase out its


travel.cloud brand, the TMC is to add a “Plus” model, which will sit between its free-to-use “Essentials” version and the full-service “Enterprise” version. Customers pay a licence fee monthly


or annually, and additional features will include more sophisticated policy building, calendar sync and pre-trip approvals, among others. It is designed for companies that spend under £500,000 a year on travel, according to chief executive Jill Palmer. “It’s the market I’m most excited about,” she told BBT. Meanwhile, Click Travel has retained a


position in the Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100, an annual league table that ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits over their latest three years. The company, the only TMC in the table, was listed in 71st place.


BUYERS NERVOUS ABOUT RETURN OF BOEING 737 MAX


A SURVEY OF TRAVEL MANAGERS has found that 80 per cent were concerned about their travellers flying on the Boeing 737 Max when it returns to the skies. The research, conducted by the GBTA,


found two-thirds of travel managers believed their travellers may change plans to avoid flying on the aircraft, which has been grounded since March after two crashes. Thirty-eight per cent of those polled said they were personally “very


concerned” about flying on the 737 Max, while 43 per cent were “somewhat concerned”. Nineteen per cent believed it was “very likely” that employees would book flights not served by the aircraft and 48 per cent said this was “somewhat likely”. When asked about their confidence in the problems with the aircraft being


resolved, feelings were mixed – only 4 per cent were “very confident”, while 32 per cent were “somewhat” and 23 per cent were “not very” confident. Furthermore, travel managers seemed reluctant to trust airlines and


Boeing when it came to communication about the status of the 737 Max. Seventy-two per cent said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was best placed to say when the aircraft would be safe to fly. Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have extended flight cancellations caused by the grounding of the 737 Max through September.


Virgin Atlantic to resume Mumbai flights


VIRGIN ATLANTIC HAS ANNOUNCED it will reinstate flights between Heathrow and Mumbai from 27 October.


The airline formerly served the route through a codeshare with Jet Airways, but with the Indian carrier grounded after failing to secure emergency funding to keep flying, Virgin Atlantic has made the decision to run flights on its own for the first time since 2015.


The year-round daily service will be


operated by Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft, offering 31 Upper Class seats, 35 in Premium and 192 in Economy – including the carrier’s Light, Classic and Delight products. Virgin Atlantic says the new flights will complement its existing service to Delhi and mark its third new route announcement this year in addition to Tel Aviv and Sao Paulo.


26


JULY/AUGUST


2019


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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