25 Aug

Planning ahead to build resilience

Over the last few weeks we’ve heard more from parts of the industry on their plans for managing the number of travellers for the coming months, with Heathrow retaining its passenger cap into October and British Airways cancelling more flights in advance to produce more workable winter schedules.
These decisions are controversial and some media have claimed that they are a recipe for ‘travel chaos’. With consumer confidence such a critical factor for the industry, when speaking in the media about these developments, our focus has been on offering a reassuring message. We’ve highlighted that these plans are intended to avoid disruption and uncertainty, which will make people feel more confident to travel. 
On the theme of a resilient travel sector, we’ve also been working with the wider industry to plan ahead. Earlier this week ABTA hosted workshops at our offices in collaboration with the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Future of Aviation, to look at future issues facing the sector.
We were pleased to welcome colleagues from across the travel and tourism supply chain, including agents (leisure and business travel), tour operators of various sizes, representatives from airports, airlines and inbound travel.
A large part of the discussion was focused on winter resilience planning – what should happen if COVID-19 cases rise further during the winter months or new variants emerge? It’s a matter we’re also working on with Members and destinations and raising with our contacts in Government. We also discussed the post-pandemic recovery and what the industry needs from the Government, as well as recruitment and staffing. 
The outputs will inform our activities, including relevant lobbying and engagement with the UK Government and destinations.