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NEWS


EASYJET HOLIDAYS GAINING ‘ENORMOUS INTEREST’


Gary Noakes


EasyJet has reaffirmed its intention to launch its new tour operation by the end of 2019, promising to use its lower cost base to shake up the market following a succession of operator failures. Chief executive Johan Lundgren


(inset) told TTG the new-look easyJet Holidays would be revealed “late in the calendar year” but declined to be more specific. “It’s very clear there is a significant opportunity for us, but we want to get it right. We are in the process of signing a number of hotels and progress is good.” Lundgren earlier told the World


Aviation Festival in London the initiative would use digital technology “to make sure it is a different proposition”. The airline has had a tour operation


since 2015, but has until now not contracted its own hotels. Lundgren said the current spate of operator failures meant now was the perfect time to launch.


“We have the network, we have a


25-30% lower cost base than competitors [and] we have more slots than any other airline in the world with multiple frequencies per day,” said Lundgren. He added the easyJet network would offer unrivalled flexibility of duration. “Flexibility used to be attached to price,” he said, adding the new easyJet Holidays would offer “a mix of flexibility, value and quality of product”. He said there had been “enormous interest from the best hotels in Europe” for the venture. EasyJet will this year carry 100 million passengers. Lundgren said the carrier had


historically expanded by 3-8% a year, but that the current trading environment meant capacity would increase “at the lower end of that spectrum”. He said he had not seen any fall in demand as a result of “flight shaming”, but added: “There is a different level of awareness in different countries, but people are not booking less.”


‘Abta has always been relied upon’


Alistair Rowland, chair, Abta


S


ince I took on the role of Abta chair in June, the clock


has certainly not stood still, and in these changing times, one constant is the role of Abta in providing the support this great industry needs. But this has always been the case. Abta has made considerable


progress over the years and I am determined to continue to help ensure its influence continues to be a force for good for us all. I have always been


aware of the diversity of its membership and it’s this mix that makes us stronger and adds weight to what we say. To ensure voices are heard,


everyone needs to engage. Abta offers regular forums through regional meetings and consults directly on regulatory issues. The events programme is thriving. Abta has seen different business models emerge that are now represented in the industry, including social influencers and easier entry points for less experienced home-based agents. Each of these models brings


a different perspective. Abta’s membership has kept up with this change, which allows us to be best placed to provide support, advice and expertise. In changing times, Abta has


PRINCELY SCHEME FOR THE TRAVEL SECTOR


Prince Harry has launched a new sustainable travel initiative backed by Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Skyscanner. Travalyst’s aim is to “mobilise the travel industry as a catalyst for good”. Read the full story at ttgmedia.com


always been relied upon, but then change is nothing new and Abta will remain well-positioned to deal with it.


See Rowland’s comments on Brexit on p6; read his column in full at ttgmedia.com


EXCLUSIVE


09.09.2019 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE


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