Published on Thursday, October 12, 2017

Monarch repatriation backlash could have been prevented, says ABTA chairman

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ABTA chairman Noel Josephides appealed to the UK Government to give the association more credit as he closed this year's Convention.

Criticising the Department of Transport for not consulting the industry over the repatriation of Monarch customers, he said: "We are not the enemy, we are the ally - but the Government sometimes treats us as if we know nothing about the very industry in which we work.

"It was a sad day for all of us to witness Monarch's failure; for me, Monarch represented the caring face of air travel, unfortunately overwhelmed by the price-cutting frenzy which has been generated by gross over-capacity in the market.

"ABTA is a serious organisation, a regulator in its own right, but was never asked whether it felt the industry could handle such a failure without outside intervention - or whether this could be done at a more reasonable cost than the £250 per one way seat which has been mooted."

He said the Government's failure to communicate and listen has resulted in a backlash which could so easily have been prevented.

"On so many issues we could all benefit from transparency in dialogue plus trust and I hope the Monarch failure will be the catalyst to encourage a more trusting relationship on the many issues which we all face," he said.

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