13 August 2010

Travel Trade Gazette

View all stories from this issue.

  • Agents fall foul of chargebacks

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    The collapse of Kiss Flights could cause a cash flow crisis for agents hit by chargebacks from credit card companies who have to pay out to customers not prepared to wait for CAA refunds. There are fears that if the CAA takes as long to refund customers from the Kiss and Goldtrail collapses as it did after the XL Leisure Group failure, thousands will turn to their credit card ...

  • Agents warn of holiday price hike after Kiss failure

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Agents have taken to the internet to warn that prices are likely to rise following the demise of Kiss Flights.Homeworker Delwyn Hughs from Holiday Discount Centre said on Moneysavingexpert.com: “The prices to any holiday destination now are just going to be huge over the next few weeks and the winter season.”Meanwhile, others took the opportunity to highlight why the latest failure ...

  • Agents warned demise of Kiss Flights will hit independent sector hard

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    The managing director of Sunvil Holidays has warned that the independent travel sector could suffer in the aftermath of Kiss Flights’ demise.Noel Josephides told TTG that Kiss had been the “main supplier” to the independent sector and that he was concerned about the repercussions that could follow.“Kiss was key to independents,” he said. “ This will leave agents with far less capacity to sell, ...

  • AmTrust pulls supplier cover from travel trade

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    One of the industry’s largest insurers has announced that it is terminating its supplier failure contracts.AmTrust Europe, formerly known as IGI Insurance, was one of two main firms to underwrite supplier failure products, used by travel industry brokers such as Rock Insurance and Marcus Hearn. AmTrust announced in May that it would be pulling out of scheduled airline ...

  • Australasia: culinary highlights of Adelaide, South Australia

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    South Australia plays on its “wow” factor – wildlife, outback and wine – but its cuisine is also impressive. Olivia Hemmings discovers Adelaide’s delights A chocolate-tasting experience, I’ve discovered, requires a good deal of willpower and patience. I’m not sure I have either. At the Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills, I was invited to sample some of the world’s most luxurious ...

  • Australasia: exploring New Zealand's Lake Taupo

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Move over Queenstown, Lake Taupo has plenty to offer adrenaline junkies. Dave Richardson visits the activity hotspot on the North Island As our Chris Jolly Outdoors boat chugged gently across Lake Taupo, I was looking forward to a fresh-fish supper in a local restaurant. The rainbow trout are so big here, that locals say the level of the lake drops when you pull one out. But as the lake covers about 625 sq km,  when we caught ...

  • Avro adds flights to help Kiss customers

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Avro has added flights following the collapse of seat-only rival Kiss Flights last night.The company, part of the Monarch Group, has already added extra services from Gatwick and Manchester to the Turkish resort of Dalaman and is also intending to increase flights to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.Avro said it had been working with agents to help rebook customers ...

  • Azamara Cruises extends offer of free flights

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Azamara Club Cruises is extending its special offer of free flights and up to $1,000 onboard spending credit for guests booking cruises up until October 31.The “Sale Away” offer was originally planned for cruises booked before August 31 2010, but the line said it had been extended due to popular demand, and so it would cover National Cruise Week, from September 19 to 26.The offer includes free flights on selected cruises onboard Azamara Quest during ...

  • BAA hopes for quick deal with union to avoid strikes

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Airports operator BAA said it is willing to meet union Unite at “any time” to thrash out a deal to prevent strikes at six UK airports.Unite workers at the BAA’s airports, including security guards, firefighters and engineers, voted for industrial action yesterday in a dispute over pay.Any walkout could cause the closure of Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen during the end of the peak summer season.BAA ...

  • Barrhead Travel opens Fife store

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Barrhead Travel has opened a store in Fife, bringing its total number of shops in the UK to 17.The franchise, which is situated on Cowdenbeath High Street, is owned and operated by local travel retailer Marie Shevas. She also operates a travel service in Kelty as part of Barrhead Travel’s homeworking initiative.

  • BDO set to be appointed as Kiss Flights administrator

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Accountancy firm BDO is due to be announced as the administrator of Kiss Flights’ owner Flight Options according to the CAA.It will be the second high-profile administration that BDO has undertaken in the travel sector in recent months - it has been acting as administrator for failed credit card clearing firm E-Clear since January. Flight Options collapsed at ...

  • CAA advises customers to consult agents over Atol confusion

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

  • Cameron's tourism pledge 'no more than rhetoric'

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    David Cameron’s pledge to help tourism revive the UK is “no more than rhetoric” without concrete measures to aid travel businesses, a leading theme park operator has said.The prime minister said yesterday that tourism could help revive the economy and he wanted to Britain to break into the top five of most visited countries in the world.

  • Cheapflights Media adds hotels to its search website

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    The parent company of price comparison brands, Cheapflights and Zugu, is expanding its search brand to include hotels price comparison.Cheapflights Media Ltd, which operates Zugu.de and zugu.com has expanded to now enable users to search for hotel deals, while Zugu.co.uk allows users to look for both hotels as well as car hire.The company was launched earlier in the year, designed as an easy to use flights meta search - a search tool that sends user requests ...

  • Chris Gray: Summer proving to be time to unravel, rather than unwind

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Travel’s torrid summer continues apace. Monster, Sun4U, Goldtrail, and now Kiss Flights. The role call of company failures grows ever longer as worries grow about why so many firms are going so early in the summer. There may be individual circumstances that lie behind each failure, but while one peak season failure might be dismissed as a freak ...

  • Collapses should push government into action - Endacott

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    The collapse of three companies in a month should be used to push the government into adopting a £1 charge to cover all airlines, according to On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott.The failure of Kiss Flights, Sun4U and Goldtrail, and the impact of those on consumers could be used to persuade the government to take action, ...

  • Colombian airliner crashes on landing

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    More than 100 people were injured and one person died when a Colombian aircraft crashed on landing.The domestic flight from Bogota crashed on the runway as it came in to land on the Colombian island of San Andres in the Caribbean Sea.The Boeing 737 was carrying 131 passengers ...

  • Cook: summer bookings ahead of last year

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Thomas Cook says it has fewer holidays to sell for the rest of this summer than this time last year – despite media reports of a glut of late availability flooding the market.Unlike rival Tui Travel which admits that it has more holidays to sell in the “lates” market than expected, Cook said booking numbers were ahead of last year.Ian Derbyshire, ...

  • Cottages4you enjoys domestic sales boost

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Domestic lettings agency Cottages4you has enjoyed a sales boost in recent months as more Britons have opted to holiday at home following the ash cloud crisis.The company, which is now part of the Hoseasons Group, said bookings rose by 32% in April as the ash cloud shut down UK airspace for six days.Cottages4you ...

  • Crisis talks start to avert BAA strike

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    Leaders of the Unite union representing BAA workers are meeting bosses from the airport operator today to try to thrash out a deal to avert a strike during peak summer holiday season.The meeting was due to start around lunchtime and both sides appear to be working for an agreed resolution to the dispute.

  • Cruise line launches its first ex-UK voyages

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    Compagnie du Ponant has revealed it will be hosting its first ex-UK voyages during July and August 2011.Le Diamant, the line’s 226-passenger expedition ship, will be positioned in the UK next summer, and will operate five seven-night round trip voyages, departing from Portsmouth. It will also run two 12-night roundtrips from the port.The seven night voyages will call at locations including Dublin, Holyhead, and the Isles of Scilly ...

  • Crystal Cruises offers new shore adventures

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Crystal Cruises is offering almost 100 new experiences for guests travelling on its autumn itineraries.A series of “private access” experiences are being offered, including a backstage glimpse of life at the Monte Carlo Ballet, and a trip on a private plane to view Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains.Andy Harmer, UK director of sales and marketing, said: “Crystal's well-travelled guests continually seek fresh and exclusive ways to see destinations.  

  • Discount culture responsible for collapse of travel firms

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    The industry’s discount culture is to blame for the recent demise of several travel firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers has said.In a statement released by the accountancy firm, PwC said there would be “no phoenix from the flames stories” in the travel industry this year, and that the budget sector would continue to suffer.“Unlike other hospitality and leisure sectors, such as pubs, those tour operators who ...

  • 'Don't blame British weather for poor sales'

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    Major tour operators should not blame the British weather for their poor performance in recent months, according to a leading domestic operator.Both Tui Travel and Thomas Cook have cited the good UK summer weather as one of the reasons for their disappointing sales during the early part of this summer.But Ian Ailles, managing director of Wyndham’s European Rentals business which includes the ...

  • Emirates gives agents more time for Manchester A380 incentive

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Emirates has extended its agent booking incentive for sales made on the airline’s A380 service from Manchester, which starts next month.Agents now have until September 17 to earn £50 or £20 shopping vouchers on every First Class or Business Class booking on the route, the first A380 service from a regional airport. The original deadline was August 16.The top selling agent over ...

  • Flight delay compensation cases put on hold

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Airline passengers’ rights to claim compensation for flight delays has been suspended by the High Court.British Airways, Tui UK and easyJet, alongside industry body Iata, had been seeking a judicial review over passengers’ compensation rights following flight delays under European regulations.The High Court has now referred the matter ...

  • Goldtrail and late bookings blamed for Kiss failure

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    The boss of Kiss Flights’ parent company has blamed over overcapacity and the demise of Goldtrail for the collapse of the seat-only operator today.Gary Ash, chief executive of Flight Options, said the failure of Goldtrail had a “devastating” effect on Kiss on top of tough trading conditions which caused severe cash flow problems.He said: “I am absolutely devastated by this ...

  • Hays IG to hold conference in Barcelona

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Hays Travel Independence Group annual overseas conference is to take place in Barcelona this November. The conference will be held at the four-star Avenida Palace Hotel from November 14 to 17, and 80% of IG members have already confirmed attendance.Group sales manager, Linda Pyle, said: “We’ve already had a fantastic response from our members for this year’s conference.

  • Holidays4U adds Cardiff-Dalaman packages

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Turkey specialist operator Holidays 4U has added package holidays to Dalaman from Cardiff airport to its 2011 programme.The operator, which has expanded its Turkey programme since the demise of Goldtrail, will offer a weekly flight every Saturday from May 7 to October 29 next year.Sales and marketing director Joe Lavers said: “As part of our expansion plans we believe that there is a market in ...

  • Kiss bond will not cover cost of failure - CAA

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Kiss Flights bond is unlikely to be enough to cover the cost of the failure, the Civil Aviation Authority said today.Kiss’s parent company Flight Options had a bond with the CAA believed to be about £1 million.But a CAA spokesman said that would not be enough to cover the cost refunds and repatriation  “in its entirety”.

  • Kiss collapse is 'double whammy' for Goldtrail customers

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    The failure of Kiss will be a “double whammy” for agents who rebooked Goldtrail customers on to the operator.Global Travel Group had about 1,000 forward bookings with Kiss, and commercial director Dave Clayton said they were being rebooked within minutes of the consortium hearing about the failure.Clayton said the failure was a “disappointment” ...

  • Kiss failure 'step towards Big Two squeezing independent agents out of business'

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    An agent who had hundreds of bookings with Kiss Flights warned that its failure is step towards the Big Two being able to "squeeze independents out of business".Peter Buckell, owner of Global Travel Lounge in Norwich, feared the seat-only operator  could trigger a domino effect. “I think it’s going to be a very lean time for operators,” he said. 

  • Kiss failure will hit more than 70,000 customers

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    More than 70,000 customers will be hit by the failure of Kiss Flights, the CAA said tonight.About 13,000 customers are overseas and another 60,000 had forward bookings with the company. The CAA said that all the customers overseas would be able to complete holidays and return to the UK under Atol protection.Customers with forward bookings ...

  • Kiss Flights ceases trading

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Flight Options, the parent company of seat-only operator Kiss Flights ceased trading at 5pm tonight.The company had recently expanded its summer programme and is understood to have thousands of customers abroad.The Civil Aviation Authority said it expected most of the customers to be covered by Atol protection.Kiss Flights was set up shortly after the XL Leisure ...

  • Kuoni sees slump in UK business

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Long-haul operator Kuoni has been hit by lower demand in the UK due to the ash cloud and British Airways strikes.Sales for the UK and Benelux countries were down by 9.4% during the first six months of 2010 – dropping to £165 million from last year’s figure of £185 million. Forward booking levels, up to August 8, were also down by 6% ...

  • Latin American airlines reveal merger plans

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

  • Malta: a nightlife guide

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Any Abta delegates who think Malta is just for old people are in for a rude awakening at October’s Travel Convention, as Belleair’s Emma Yorke explainsMalta is fast becoming the new Ibiza. During the summer, it hosts some fantastic music events, including Isle of MTV (Europe’s largest, free open-air concert), Creamfields and Ministry of Sound. It has anchored itself firmly on the summer party circuit, but is a year-round destination, ...

  • Minor International expands in Sri Lanka

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Minor International, owner of Anantara, is to expand in Sri Lanka and look to open a hotel under the luxury brand.Minor International has invested $22 million on acquiring an 80.1% share in the Sri Lankan company Cyprea Lanka, whose assets comprise the Kani Lanka Resort & Spa, Kalutara, and an adjacent plot of land.The land will be used for the development ...

  • More high-profile figures join virtual line-up

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Azamara Club Cruises president and chief executive Larry Pimentel and Mulberry brand director Georgia Fendley are to take part in the UK’s first virtual travel trade conference.Register now for the free event, taking place on September 7-8. ...

  • New Caribbean destinations for Travel City Direct

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Travel City Direct has expanded its programme to include the Caribbean destinations of Cuba, Grenada and Tobago.The operator will use sister company Virgin Atlantic’s scheduled flights from Gatwick for the holidays.Travel City Direct, which was once part of the collapsed XL Holidays group, already offers packages to the Caribbean islands of St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica.

  • Obama takes plunge to back Florida tourism

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    US President Barack Obama has waded into the dispute over whether the Florida Gulf is safe to swim in following the BP oil disaster, after he was pictured swimming with his daughter at a Florida resort town. Barack Obama and daughter Sasha swimming at Panama ...

  • P&V revamps trade website

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Self-catering specialist Pierre & Vacances has revamped its website for agents and tour operators.  The site offers real time availability searches and has been redesigned to be more user-friendly with a multi-brand search and booking facility and a quick search option to view prices and availability by date.It can be used to book any of the Pierre & Vacances ...

  • Premier Holidays boosts Flybe sales

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Premier Holidays has become one of Flybe’s fastest growing accounts after a big increase in the number of Channel Island sales in July.Bookings through Premier on Flybe rose 37% in July compared to the same month last year , with most being late deals.Beverley Scarr, General Manager of Premier Holidays’ short haul business, said: “The majority of the bookings are late deals; however we can also attribute this increase to a larger number of online ...

  • Ryanair announces four new routes

    Wed, 18 Aug 2010

    Ryanair has announced four new routes from Gatwick, which will begin from October 31, 2010.The routes will fly to Bologna, Faro, Milan Bergamo and Porto. In addition, the airline will increase the frequency of its Gatwick to Oslo Rygge route to 10 flights per week.Fares will begin at £17.99 one way.Ryanair celebrated news of the new routes by ...

  • Ryanair brands BAA Unite members as 'selfish and underworked'

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Ryanair has branded Unite members as “selfish and under worked” following their announcement to strike in the wake of a continued dispute with airport operator BAA.The airline said a late August strike could disrupt travel for up to 50,000 of its passengers, with an estimated 300 flights per day being cancelled at three airports across the UK.Ryanair also urged all customers affected ...

  • Saga Holidays' parent company reports £529m loss

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    Acromas Holdings, the parent company of Saga Holidays and Titan Travel, has reported losses of more than £500 million.The group, which also includes the Spirit of Adventure cruise brand and short-break specialists Great Getaways, reported a pre-tax loss of £528.7 million on a turnover of  £1.6 billion.The loss for the year ...

  • Shoulder Season: Hot tips for shoulder season warmth

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    For those not tied to school holidays, late September and October can prove a cost-effective time to get away. Debbie Ward looks at the main shoulder season contendersWhile summer and winter sun have their well-established hotspots, the shoulder season is a greyer area for resort holidays. But many short-haul destinations offer the possibility to extend your summer and there are good savings to be made. “Destinations such as Crete, Malta ...

  • Simon Calder: how to sell the perfect city break

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    You fly, you sight see, you eat and sleep, you come home – that’s the simple recipe for every city break, surely?Basically, yes – although Eurostar and the ferry companies offer excellent alternatives to flying. But coming up with the ideal city break is an art that involves much more than assembling the basic components; a good agent can bring plenty of value to the customer using a combination ofindustry knowledge, common sense and a bit of research.

  • Smoke causes Cook flight to make emergency landing

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    A Thomas Cook flight had to make an emergency landing at Gatwick when smoke started coming from an onboard oven.The flight from Manchester to the Turkish resort of Dalaman had to divert to Gatwick at around 8.40am on Sunday as a precaution.The aircraft, carrying 320 passengers, was evacuated and an investigation found that the smoke was caused by packaging ...

  • The Kiss victims who pay three times for a holiday

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Customers hit by a “double whammy” of bookings with Goldtrail and Kiss Flights may simply walk away when they are asked to pay for a third time.Many customers who lost Turkey holidays with Goldtrail were transferred to Kiss by agents, who this week had to tell them they needed to pay a third time and make a second refund claim to the CAA. Avro managing director ...

  • The positive side to Kiss's demise

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Kiss Flights’ demise may have a silver lining for some operators and agents as prices rise and margins improve.Photis Lambrianides, Olympic Holidays commercial director, said some of Olympic’s prices rose due to “demand and supply” following increased demand for charter seats as agents rebooked clients.Paul Bennett, director of Colchester Travel, said raising ...

  • Thomas Cook signs Manchester United deal

    Fri, 13 Aug 2010

    Thomas Cook has signed a four-year deal with football giant Manchester United to become the club’s official travel partner across the world.The company’s Thomas Cook Sport operation will provide travel for the club’s players, officials and fans both in the UK and across 21 international markets.Under the deal, Cook will organise official breaks including match tickets and accommodation ...

  • ttgluxury editor: My day as an agent

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    April Hutchinson spent a day with Kuoni in Cheltenham, soaking up the atmosphere, handing over bags of smellies, and generally feeling the “Kuoni love”Walking away from a travel agent with some Molton Brown smellies in your bag may not seem like the obvious thing for a customer to take way. Shouldn’t they be taking some brochures? Well, the brochures are there too, as is a business ...

  • Unite leaders accept BAA peace deal

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

    The threat of a strike by staff at six BAA airports has been called off after union leaders accepted an improved pay offer.The deal was reached after nine hours of negotiations between BAA and representatives from the Unite union.Unite national officer Brian Boyd said agreement was possible after BAA made a “much improved” offer, but ...

  • Viking Airlines cuts fleet and axes UK jobs

    Tue, 17 Aug 2010

    Viking Airlines is cutting the size of its fleet and making job losses, but insists it is financially healthy despite the demise of one of its largest UK customers.The airline said it was reducing its fleet by three aircraft, but said UK operations would continue as normal.“While one of Viking’s tour operating customers, Flight Options, has unfortunately gone into administration, ...

  • Viking reaffirms commitment to operators

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Viking Airlines has re-affirmed its commitment to UK tour operators following its decision to cut its fleet by three aircraft.The Swedish airline said it was maintaining Gatwick as an operational base, as well as operating from various regional airports. It is cutting its fleet by 25%, or three aircraft, once it has finished taking part in the repatriation programme for customers of Flight Options, ...

  • Viking surfs over to direct selling

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Viking Airlines, which provided most of Kiss Flights’ airlift, is repositioning itself as a direct-sell carrier, offering tickets to consumers through its website. The website of the Sweden-based airline was redesigned about two months ago and given a “soft launch” under its new brand flyviking.com. It said the majority of its business would still come from tour operators, but ...

  • Virgin paid £3.5m for historic Bales

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    Virgin Holidays paid £3.5m to buy family-owned operator Bales Worldwide in December 2009, documents have revealed.The amount paid was not disclosed at the time, but Virgin Holidays’ accounts, filed at Companies House, show that it paid £3,483,000 for the escorted tours and tailor-made specialist.The report valued Bales’ net assets at £2m when the acquisition — ...

  • Winter Sun: What temperatures can clients expect

    Thu, 19 Aug 2010

    As clients turn their attention towards winter-sun holidays, the “somewhere hot” enquiries are just around the corner. Here is a guide to the temperatures they can expect in December, depending on how far they want to fly. Dave Richardson reportsUp to three hours: Costa Del Sol, Costa Blanca, Majorca and the AlgarveThe Costa ...

  • WTTC claims tourism 'unfairly punished' over ash crisis as KLM faces legal action

    Mon, 16 Aug 2010

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