The move follows the success of a station for cabin crew launched during lockdown, Travel Weekly reports

The first digital radio station for the travel trade is due to hit the air later this month, following the success of a station for cabin crew launched during lockdown

The countdown has begun to the launch of a new digital radio station dedicated to the travel trade, which is due to go live on air on Monday, October 19.

Travel.Radio will feature 24‑hour music, chat, interviews and competitions, and has its roots in CCFM On Air, the first global radio station for cabin crew, airline colleagues and aviation enthusiasts, which launched in May.

Travel Weekly is an official partner of the station and will provide daily industry news content every weekday.

Deborah Henley, chief executive of the new venture, said CCFM On Air had appealed to listeners from around the world during the Covid-19 lockdown, who tuned in online, on mobile devices and smart speakers.

However, she said it had become apparent from the growing interest from other parts of the industry that there was a gap in the market for a dedicated travel trade station.

Henley, who boasts 35 years’ cabin crew experience, said: “From the beginning, we knew we had hit on a winning idea. Originally intended for cabin crew with a common interest in coming together, it grew much bigger than that. We soon attracted the attention of many other people, not just in aviation but from the travel industry in general.

“A lot of that was to do with the quality of our production, the fanbase of our presenters and the originality of the radio station. We provide round-the-clock programming seven days a week, and our success is due to the fact our listeners have a vested interest in what we have to say.”

Although Travel.Radio is a new standalone station, elements of CCFM On Air will be incorporated into its programming, including a daily three-hour show for cabin crew.

Alongside Henley, Travel.Radio’s management team includes Del Willden, a former purser who gave up flying to work full-time in radio and as an actor; Leo Jones, who worked in aviation for 20 years and starred in the easyJet docusoap Airline; Sue Redmond, an independent PR specialist in the aviation, travel and hospitality sectors; and Melissa Tilling, former Funway Holidays managing director and currently chief executive of Charitable Travel.

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Commercial director Tilling said: “I started off as a fan tuning into CCFM On Air and I really liked what I heard, both the music and the content. It had so much potential to expand. I loved the passion and the commitment they had supporting cabin crew and their aviation colleagues in hard times.

“As the travel industry begins a massive recovery journey post-Covid, I really felt they too could benefit from their own radio station. It’s another communication channel and somewhere to combine business with some more light-hearted elements.”

Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Travel.Radio and providing our leading industry news content throughout the week.

“Throughout this crisis, we have done all we can to inform and connect our readers, and it is clear that the team at Travel.Radio shares that desire to support, inspire and entertain the travel trade as it faces its greatest challenge.”


How to listen

Travel.Radio will broadcast live from 6am on Monday, October 19.

Listeners will be able to tune in online via the station’s website at www.travel.radio or listen anywhere in the world on their mobile device or smart speaker.

The station’s website will also be a place to share views and take part in promotions and competitions.


The presenters

Travel.Radio will feature the original line-up of CCFM On Air presenters plus some new faces.

Bosses also hope to unearth some radio talent from within the travel trade community, with a number of guest-presenting slots up for grabs.

The station will broadcast 24 hours a day, with new presenter and US radio veteran Joe Malerba on air through the night with a Stateside Red Eye Show.

In the UK, presenters include:

Leo Jones and Katrina Leeder, from the reality TV show Airline
Emma Kenny, resident psychologist on This Morning and part of the family and support team
• Actress Tricia Penrose, best-known for her role in Heartbeat
• Magazine columnist and local radio presenter Gaynor Morgan
• Travel.Radio chief executive Deborah Henley and local radio veterans Marc Johnson, Rob James and station director Del Willden.

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Willden said: “From the beginning, we were determined to deliver a professional and fun service, and we achieved that with the amazing talent pool of presenters we have. We would never compromise on quality. It is my intention to grow that talent and hopefully attract some budding presenters from the travel industry to do guest spots.”