18 Oct

ABTA statement on today's Transport Select Committee

The Transport Select Committee is accepting evidence today on the causes and impact of the failure of NATS's air traffic control system over the August bank holiday weekend. Ahead of the meeting ABTA has written to the Committee emphasising the importance of considering the impact of the disruptions on the wider travel and tourism sector. We also raised this point directly with the Transport Secretary at the time of the incident.
ABTA is calling for any review into the causes of the failure to extend beyond the impacts on airlines and airport and include an active consideration of the knock-on effects on businesses further down the supply chain, including tour operators and travel agents.
Luke Petherbridge, Director of Public Affairs at ABTA – The Travel Association, said:
“The disruption caused by the NATS system failure resulted in significant lost revenues for ABTA members and across the wider travel ecosystem. We know members’ staff worked extremely long hours over the bank holiday and the following days to ensure customers affected at overseas airports, or who had to endure delays or cancellations to their planned holidays, could find alternative travel arrangements. While high levels of customer service are an integral part of the offering of intermediaries, such as travel agents and tour operators, it is important that the impact on these businesses of incidents like this, which are completely outside of their control, are considered fully in the review to be conducted by the CAA.”