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NEWS


Attraction World and Iglu start redundancy talks


Ben Ireland


Travel companies have been urged to “prepare for the worst” when the furlough scheme comes to an end next month as more travel companies began consultations with staff this week. Iglu and Attraction World


both confirmed they had started consultations with staff over potential redundancies, and ground handler Menzies Aviation began consultations over 1,050 jobs at Heathrow and 176 at Luton airport. Up to 1,000 furloughed staff at


Butlin’s may also be put on long-term unpaid leave this winter. Iglu chief executive Richard


Downs said the cruise and ski specialist agency, which employs 400 people, was looking to cut operational costs by 40%-50%. He said “all avenues” to retain jobs


had been explored and that a “full strategic review” would “reshape” the business “with the goal of emerging from the pandemic stronger”. An Attraction World spokesman


said “our commitment to supporting the trade remains as strong as it has always been” while confirming


redundancies were expected in operational and administrative roles. Tui this week confirmed an


existing plan to axe 8,000 group-wide jobs in the wake of an 83% year-on- year plunge in summer bookings. Industry leaders speaking at


Travel Weekly’s Future of Travel Week predicted no extension to the government’s furlough scheme, which is due to end on October 31. Accountant Chris Photi, head


of leisure and travel at White Hart Associates, said the government’s “furlough cash is running out” and predicted: “Unfortunately, unem-


The furlough scheme ends on October 31


ployment is going to rise severely”. Jet2holidays chief executive Steve


Heapy said: “Everybody knows [furlough] is going to end.” Noting the government “can’t keep funding this for ever”, he said: “As a business, you’ve got to prepare for the worst.” Writing for Travel Weekly,


industry veteran Steve Endacott warned of a looming ‘Redundancy Day’ as furlough draws to a close. Westoe Travel owner Graeme


Brett wrote to Abta to suggest the association use furloughed agents and tour operator staff to help process claims related to failed firms.


Hays defends Tailor Made takeover Juliet Dennis


Hays Travel is reviewing its shop network in south Wales following the acquisition of Tailor Made Travel – but has pledged no staff will lose their jobs. The UK’s largest independent


agency, which now has around 600 shops nationwide, bought 20-branch Tailor Made and took on its 100 staff after the Welsh agency went into administration on September 3. About half of the newly-acquired


stores are located in towns where Hays already has a shop. In some towns, it could mean a Tailor Made Travel or Hays Travel branch closing. Speaking as part of Travel Weekly’s


Future of Travel Week, joint-owner John Hays said: “We have started


travelweekly.co.uk


deciding which ones we want to consolidate but not how many yet. “We might [continue to] trade both shops or we might close one, but we have guaranteed to staff that none will lose their jobs.” In the case of a shop shutting, staff


would be offered roles in alternative branches, he said. Hays said the group had


recognised an opportunity following the “sad” news that Tailor Made Travel had gone into administration. He said: “There are some really


great branches and some great staff.” Co-owner Irene Hays accepted


that buying an agency chain at the same time as putting 878 Hays trainee travel consultants and foreign exchange staff under consultation gave “mixed messages”.


But the Hays owners defended


the strategy, stressing that the roles at risk of redundancy were in specific “pools” of job categories directly affected by the pandemic.


John and Irene Hays


Staff under consultation have told


Travel Weekly they have raised formal grievances about Hays making an acquisition while cutting jobs. Irene Hays said: “We understand


why that could look like mixed messages but we are very clear about the pools of staff under consultation.” Travel consultants are being


trained to work on foreign exchange. Hays Travel has also offered all


staff facing redundancy work on its ongoing government contracts. Irene Hays said the contracts, revealed last month, had been vital to subsidising staff salaries through the crisis. “We are still not receiving enough


travel work to pay salaries, but thanks to this work we have a strong business


plan for the next two years,” she said. i Future of Travel Week, page 10


24 SEPTEMBER 2020 7


PICTURE: Shutterstock


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