Celebrity Cruises’ UK boss has urged cruise operators to work together and tackle the ongoing aviation issues that are currently hampering European fly-cruise bookings this summer.
Agents recently reported rising demand for ex-UK sailings due to low flight availability and ongoing delays at airports.
Jo Rzymowska, Celebrity Cruises’ vice-president and managing director, told delegates at the Clia Conference that UK-based staff at parent Royal Caribbean Group were meeting twice a day to talk with airlines about how to solve the issues.
Asked about the issues facing airlines at the moment, she said: “It definitely is a challenge. [The airlines] have gone through what our industry has gone through. It’s not their issue, it’s our issue. It’s our issue as an industry.
“We don’t just have ships that are sailing from Southampton so it’s important that we do solve it.”
She added: “Just because one part of the chain is in a situation they shouldn’t be in and they’re not solving it as quickly as we want them to do, we then need to look and see what we can do.”
Rzymowska explained how Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International were doing “everything” to correct the issues.
She added aviation specialists were being consulted and customers with departures later in the summer were being contacted.
“We need to look and see what we can do, she said. “We’re pulling people in from air and people that used to work in air. We’re doing everything that we can.
“We’re speaking with people who are not departing immediately, doing Interactive Voice Response on the phones and looking at the website.”