Libra Holidays is hoping to negotiate a new distribution deal with First Choice after the previous one was allowed to lapse towards the end of last year.

Newly appointed sales and marketing manager Riccardo Benzo said Libra Holidays’ brochures are currently not racked by the vertically-integrated operator’s 330 shops, the only member of the big four not to do so.

Just two weeks into the job, Benzo, who joined from MSC Cruises, said striking a new deal would be a priority after the old one expired following the departure of former sales and marketing director Paul Riches in October.

He added: “We are trying to get back with First Choice. We’ve lagged behind but I think they’re very keen to work with us.”

While Benzo is keen to renew the distribution deal as soon as possible, he admits the potential consolidation of the big four to two has left the operator in limbo concerning plans for its own operations.

He said: “We need to see where those operators are going before we consider any destination growth.”

Instead, he said the operator’s overseas focus would be on consolidating and strengthening its programmes in Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey following last week’s announcement the operator is also depackaging its stock in order to offer flight and accommodation-only.

However, he believes the big four’s plans to merge will ultimately work in Libra’s favour as agents try to forge stronger links with independent operators.

He said: “The trade is increasingly wary that these big guys can do whatever they want to the industry.”