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

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

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44