Cuba operator hastens launch of trade brand

Benjamin Coren

Former Cuba Holidays sales boss Alan Meadows is to launch a specialist Cuba brand to the trade. Live Cuba was set to launch

on July 25, but the date has been brought forward to next Tuesday (July 2) in response to “increasing demand for Cuba” from agents. Meadows has been appointed

business development manager of Live Cuba, the trade brand of specialist Cuba operator Live Holidays, which has been in business for more than 16 years. “Te response from the trade has

been amazing,” he said. “We are so very grateful for the good wishes and emails of support we have received.” Cuba Holidays, part of Te

Holiday Place, ceased trading at the end of May. It was owned by direct- sell operator Te Holiday Place, which had been selling holidays to Cuba for 30 years. Meadows added: “Te time

between the collapse of Cuba Holidays and our launch will be just over a month. As anyone knows, starting a new brand is hard work. “Completing a launch in such

a short space of time has been an amazing turnaround. While

Completing a

launch in such a short space of time has been an amazing turnaround

commercial negotiations are still being finalised, we are confident we will be able to offer the levels of service that our partners will expect on launch day and in the weeks to come.”

Former OTA director Pollard pleads not guilty to fraud charge

Former online travel agency director Johnny Pollard has pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of fraud by false representation. Pollard, who was a director at On the Beach and commercial manager at Bookable Holidays, appeared in Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on June 20. He was released on unconditional bail and will face trial on July 18.

6 27 JUNE 2019 Live Cuba plans to publish a

60-page brochure. Te programme will be dedicated to the island and will feature twin and multi-centre holiday itineraries, and specialist tours. Te operator has pledged to

complement its brochure with an easy-to-use website. Tis will include a ‘price wall’, planned to launch by the end of August, showing real-time pricing of its bestselling twin and

multi-centre itineraries and tours. › Cuba cruise ban, page 24

Virgin Atlantic targets 150 slots at new Heathrow runway

Virgin Atlantic will demand 150 of the 350 runway slots expected to be created at Heathrow, to prevent British Airways stifling competition. Chief executive Shai Weiss said his airline should be given the slots when the airport’s £14 billion third runway is built. IAG, which owns BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia, has about 57% of Heathrow’s current capacity.

MSC includes service charges in UK and Irish passengers’ fares

MSC Cruises has begun to include service charges in UK and Irish passengers’ fares. The line said fares would not rise as a result. MSC had planned to scrap service fees from April 2, but the move was delayed while an implementation strategy was devised. Bookings made before June 25 will be subject to daily service charges, which can be removed at a passenger’s request.

Alan Meadows and Havana

Haslemere Travel suffers second break-in this year

Haslemere Travel has been broken into for the second time in six weeks. Tieves broke into the Surrey-

based independent agency at about 3.30am on June 19. Tey stole “nothing of major

significance”, but got away with some African artefacts and some small change. But the shop opened for

business as usual that day. Owner Gemma Antrobus, who

is also chair of Aito Agents, said: “It hasn’t affected what we do. We sell dreams and memories, we don’t have a tangible element.” Te agency was also broken into

on May 19. Staff have received support from

the local community, with a nearby cafe donating cakes. “Industry friends have been

supportive,” said Antrobus. “Many were sorry to hear the news.”

PICTURE: Shutterstock

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