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EasyJet Holidays board is ‘Tui II’


Amie Keeley amie.keeley@travelweekly.co.uk


EasyJet Holidays’ leadership team has been dubbed “Tui mark II” after the operator’s appointment of a heavyweight board of directors.


Four of its eight-strong board


have previously worked for Tui. They are commercial director Alex Loftus, strategy and sourcing director Paul Bixby, communications director Fiona Jennings and finance director Michelle Heywood. Panellists at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast this week said easyJet’s plans would increase competition and put pressure on online travel agents. Miles Morgan, owner of Miles


Morgan Travel, said: “The OTA space will be a fascinating one to watch over the next 12 months. If Tui mark II – the collection of people being assembled at easyJet Holidays – go down the same route [as Tui] and have differential pricing on their flight-only, then OTAs will find it much tougher to get access to competitively priced stock that can compete with easyJet Holidays.” Icelolly.com chief executive Richard Singer agreed. He said


the likes of On the Beach and Love Holidays were currently taking a large share of the package holiday market, but added: “We’ve also got easyJet Holidays coming on stream next year. They are not looking to just white-label; it is a full-on tour operator business, so it will get more competitive.” The rest of the board comprises digital director James Hardy, interim technology lead Paul Curtis, marketing director Mary Newcombe and legal director Rebecca Mills. Hardy and Curtis have both


previously worked for Jet2 and Jet2holidays.


The appointments follow former


Tui managing director for group product and purchasing Garry Wilson being made chief executive of easyJet Holidays in November. He said the team has the “ambi-


tion, experience and diversity” needed to become a “major player in the holiday market”. Meanwhile, easyJet Holidays


general manager Mandy Round has left the business “to pursue other


professional opportunities”. ● EasyJet chief operating officer Chris Browne has taken early retirement from the airline due to her husband’s ill health.


Jet2holidays has ramped up its promotional activity to encourage consumers to overcome Brexit uncertainty – with independent agents as a key call to action.


The operator has updated its


television adverts with a prominent “visit your local independent travel agent” message. It has also extended


3


Alan Cross: ‘We need to reassure people it’s fine to book’


STORIES HOT


Jet2holidays ad promotes indies


Lucy Huxley lucy.huxley@travelweekly.co.uk


harder than ever before not to delay and to book now. “We need to reassure them it’s


fine to book a holiday, despite all the uncertainty.” Cross said: “The ‘what if’


BREXIT


its Rain Cheque voucher scheme to target new and lapsed customers, as well as existing clients, with discounts available if redeemed before the end of March. The campaign aims to instil


urgency into potential bookers, whom Jet2holidays believes are nervous about committing in the current political climate. Head of trade Alan Cross said:


EasyJet Holidays’ Atol licenses it to carry 270,000 passengers a year


“As soon as it was announced in Parliament last week there could be a delay [to Brexit], we decided to move. The business is out there, people want to book a holiday. “But we need to persuade them


worry is putting people off. We are entering uncharted territory, so need to give customers more reason to go to their local independent agent. “And agents need to be doing everything they can to get consumers to come into their shops so they can reassure them it’s fine to book and that, if anything does go wrong, they will sort it.” Ads will air on ITV1, Sky, Channel 4 and video on demand. Jet2holidays is now sending its


Rain Cheque money-off booking vouchers – which it usually gives to passengers returning from holiday – to two of its customer databases: people who have never booked before and those who have not booked for more than a year. The operator is sending four


vouchers to both databases. They can be redeemed, one per booking, until the end of the month in travel agencies, or passed to friends and family.


21 March 2019travelweekly.co.uk5


PICTURE: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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