05 Mar

Supporting Members in times of crisis

It has been a challenging week for our industry, with the coronavirus outbreak spreading and dominating the headlines, and with today’s news that Flybe, the UK’s largest regional airline, has gone into administration. 

ABTA’s priority in dealing with the coronavirus situation remains to be as visible as possible in order to give perspective and provide the most up to date fact-based information so Members and customers can make informed decisions. 

We continue to engage the media to highlight the very low risk of contracting the virus through travel outside of restricted destinations. Since the end of January we have conducted 313 media interventions, including 39 TV interviews. ABTA has also been running a proactive Facebook advert, which will continue for the next few weeks, to target people looking to travel with our latest advice.  

Meanwhile, ABTA has continued to liaise with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to regularly update our advice for Members. We are also speaking with government departments about steps they could take to support the industry if the situation deteriorates. 

To provide an update and address questions we have set up a conference call next Tuesday 10 March and issued a survey to Members on the impact of the outbreak on your business. Details were sent out to all Member head offices on 4 March. A recording of the call will be made available to all Members and the survey will provide invaluable evidence for ABTA to represent Member interests.

Today we have learned about the sad demise of Flybe, which has been brought about by well publicised longstanding financial difficulties. Many Members will be dealing with concerned customers today and ABTA will do all it can to provide support.  

In the short term the failure of Flybe will particularly impact domestic connectivity, which is an important part of our Members’ offering. And the failure of another airline should remind the Government of the need for reform when it comes to airline insolvency.

ABTA will continue to support our Members. It is an exceptionally testing time but I’m certain that by supporting each other and members of the travelling public our industry will show its resilience once more.