12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
The government policy of no expansion of airports is a long term threat to the well being of the UK, John McEwan, ceo of the Advantage Travel Centres, said today (May 7).
Speaking at the Advantage Conference on Madrid, McEwan said the government had ruled there was to be no further expansion of UK airport despite Heathrow being at saturation point.
McEwan told the 500 delegates that all the pointers said aviation was going to grow in the coming years.
“So how are we going to cope? If the government does not revise its policy it will in the long term put the position of Britain under threat.”
McEwan, speaking in a round up of the year for Advantage members, said the group was also “pushing hard” to have the Air Passenger Duty (APD) revised.
He said the pressure had so far succeeded “to an extent” in that the UK government had put off a planned increase in the levy earlier this year.
McEwan also said the group was unhappy with planned reform of the ATOL licence which he said would put further restrictions on travel agents but not on airlines.
Members of the Advantage group which includes leading business travel specialists, had a turnover of £3.56bn in 2010, McEwan said. This included a £1bn turnover in business travel.
He said business travel membership was “very substantial” and together ranked with major TMCs like American Express and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Sonia Michaels, Advantage’s corporate relationship manager, said members of the Advantage Focus group of business travel agencies together ranked fifth in the UK after Amex, HRG, Carlson and BCD Travel.