Corporate leaders dismiss Brexit impact

Corporate travel leaders and airlines have dismissed concerns that Brexit could hit demand for travel from the UK.

Steve Norris, Flight Centre Travel Group corporate managing director for Europe and Africa, said: “We’ve had record trading months. February is strong [and] we saw our largest year-on-year growth to date in the UK in January.

“We have 2,000 customers in the UK. We anticipated a feeling of wait and see, but we have not seen any nervousness. Customers still need to do business.”

Clive Wratten, chief executive of travel management company Amber Road, agreed saying: “We’re not seeing any hesitancy. Business is steady.

“We’ve got past the point of ‘All aircraft are going to stop flying after March 29’. None of our clients is saying ‘We’re not travelling because of Brexit’.”

United Airlines UK and Ireland managing director Bob Schumacher told Travel Weekly: “We are in an exceptionally strong revenue environment [and] bookings are strong.

“Last year was a fantastic year for the UK-US market. It’s as good a time as I can think of in the US airline business.”

He added: “I don’t think people are concerned about North America. [But] if there is any talk of relocation [because of Brexit] we will fly where our customers are.”

Margaret Skinner, Air Canada sales director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We’re seeing no impact on sales [from the UK].”

Her colleague Stephen Gerrard, UK and Ireland general sales manager, added: “Our forward-booking position is good. We anticipate no change in trading after March 29.”

Nadia Clinton, Delta Air Lines UK and Ireland manager, agreed. She said: “We’ve not seen any change in forward bookings. It is business as usual.”

Clinton added: “We very much appreciate the US and UK governments came to an agreement on open skies.”

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