An emergency delegation at World Travel Market has persuaded tour operator Teleticket to help fill the gap in flights out of Bristol airport following XL Leisure Group’s collapse.
But Anthony Goord, owner of Peter Goord Travel, warned agents may have to start taking commitments with airlines and operators to secure further regional flights for local holidaymakers.
The commitment by Teleticket followed a decision by Goord and Bristol airport staff to travel to WTM for talks with airlines and operators to secure new flights in the south-west lost as a result of the demise of XL in September.
Teleticket, which was reviewing its flights following XL’s collapse, is to introduce four weekly flights to Tenerife, Lanzarote, Paphos and Las Palmas next Easter.
But Goord said agents may have to rethink their entire business models by accepting additional commercial responsibilities if they want to halt the trend for airlines to cut regional flights as the economic downturn worsens.
He said: “We were really hoping for more [deals at WTM] but it is a good start. It is down to us to get other operators to commit themselves as it is the agents who have been feeling the cuts. What’s still missing are flights to Greece and Egypt.
“For some of the independent operators, it seems the risk is too high to take on alone and they’re looking for commitment from travel agents and airports.
“Being independent travel agents, we have to consider it, although it could be a financial risk which some agents don’t seem willing to take. We may have to take it.”
Bristol airport head of sales Jason Wescott said the airport had already agreed to help with marketing and agent incentivising costs as part of the Teleticket deal.
He added: “We will all share the successes and reap the benefits if it works.”
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