NEWS for the entire industry and T

has never felt more crucial: namely to inform, inspire, connect and support the entire travel industry. Over the weeks and months

ahead, we will continue to do the

following to the best of our abilities: O Bring you the latest news on, and complement that with advice, opinion and commentary from our leading journalists and contributors, ranging from industry analysts to business experts. Follow our live blog on and our Travel Weekly Business emails every

weekday morning. O Publish your weekly print magazine. Barring restrictions or barriers to printing and distribution, we commit to publishing Travel Weekly throughout this crisis. This crisis has already had an inevitable impact on edition sizes and content of the magazine, and we have taken steps such as postponing Mystery Shopper visits to allow our readers to focus entirely on immediate business needs. But you can be assured that we will do our best to continue to keep you up to date on the latest from travel suppliers to give you the tools

ravel all, says editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

to be ready when the time comes to resume business in earnest. O Gather experts on our print,

digital and social media channels to offer you real-time advice and the opportunity to ask the

questions you need answered. O Provide a platform for associations, consortia and travel companies to relay information and guidance and support them in their efforts to lobby government for practical assistance. There is no doubt this crisis

will have a high personal and professional cost for many. But just as it is important to stand together and celebrate success in good times, it is crucial to offer support and solidarity in the worst of times. Everyone at Travel Weekly

and I stand ready to do all we can, and you can be assured of our support throughout this situation and far beyond. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on with any suggestions for how we can continue to help you in these most trying of circumstances.

Abta warns of risk to jobs for ‘tens of thousands’

Harry Kemble T

ravel firms are asking staff to take unpaid leave, freezing recruitment and making roles redundant

as the impact of coronavirus bites harder. Abta warned that hundreds

of businesses, employing tens of thousands of people between them, could collapse in “a crisis of unprecedented scale” as it called for government support. Agencies took precautionary measures. The UK’s largest travel retailer, Hays Travel, offered 5,700 staff voluntary unpaid leave or reduced working hours as it looked to reduce “non-essential expenditure”. Hays said it is reviewing the situation daily. The Travel Network Group is to

online resource centre

amendment forms from Jet2holidays, a business helpline set up by Travel Counsellors and advice on how to access support from Abta LifeLine. You can also find links to the latest Foreign

Office travel advisories. If your company has something to

add to the list or advice to offer that can help other businesses, please email

Explore T ravel Weekly’s resource centre at: resources

make 15 roles redundant across the company as the consortium looked to protect its business. Chief executive Gary Lewis said: “We are making sure we are in a position to come through this. But it’s also about giving [agent] members confidence that they should be making these types of decisions.” World Travel Holdings, which

includes Cruise118, River Voyages and Six Star Cruises, said it was “reviewing costs” and warned of redundancies. “I want to protect jobs as best as I am able to,” said managing director Alison Earnshaw. Fred Olsen Travel has frozen

recruitment after four people left the business and allowed one agent to reduce their hours. Head of commercial Paul Hardwick said unpaid leave was an option for the Suffolk-based agency. Agents at

Hopefully things will turn around, but we are only a little agency and we have got a small cashflow

Surrey-based Village Travel have been put on indefinite leave. “Hopefully things will turn around, but we are only a little agency and we have got a small cashflow,” said joint owner Jennie Watson. Worldwide Cruises UK let an

agent who joined two weeks ago leave. “Due to the current situation everything is on the table,” said sales manager Jordan Brewer, who said redundancy will be “the last consideration that we make”. Manchester-based Cruise1st has

asked all staff to reduce their hours temporarily and has set them up to work from home. Abta LifeLine said enquires were

starting to “pick up”. People in need would have to demonstrate “severe financial hardship” to receive help, said director Trudie Clements, who added: “Gaining any additional funds will be challenging this year.” Other parts of the industry have

also been affected, especially airlines. British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz warned of redundancies in a letter to staff titled “The survival of British Airways”; Tui Group imposed a recruitment freeze among its cost- cutting measures; and Norwegian said about 7,300 staff – 90% of its

workforce – would go temporarily. i Business News, page 48

19 MARCH 2020 9

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