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Published on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Jobs at risk as dnata announces plans to drop Travel 2

Dnata Travel Group is to begin a 45-day collective consultation with staff about job cuts as it announces plans to merge Travel 2 and Gold Medal.

The move would see the end of the Travel 2 brand and the creation of a single brand, Gold Medal, with sub-brands Pure Luxury, Cruise Plus and Incredible Journeys.

The merger, if accepted following the consultation process, will see the Travel 2 office in Glasgow close and operational, marketing and management functions consolidated in dnata Travel Group's Leyland office, along with the majority of the sales team.

Under the plans, a number of homeworking roles would be created in Glasgow.

Managing director Lisa McAuley said the consolidation will 'create a number of exciting opportunities for us and our travel agent partners, while reducing costs and complexity'.

"The proposal will be given due consideration over the coming weeks and I want to reassure our travel agent and industry partners that our commitment to the trade will remain a cornerstone of the brands, and the unrivalled product portfolio and award-winning service for which we are renowned will stay at the forefront of our future plans," she said.

"Our team has proactively reached out to all our partners today and will continue to keep them updated. In the meantime, things stay as they are and we'll continue to work with them as we navigate the current disruption and eventual recovery."

She continued: "The Gold Medal and Travel 2 teams in Leyland and Glasgow have always had a strong bond so this is a difficult day for them. Our priority at this point is supporting those team members who are directly affected by the implications of this proposal. Our people are our greatest assets and it is of the upmost importance to me that we are doing everything possible to assist them through the consultation process, and that it is conducted in a professional and sensitive manner."

Dnata staff were briefed today on the wider consultation via a series of video conference calls and other communications.

CEO John Bevan said: "The need for us to improve the efficiency of our organisation, create and build on synergies, simplify processes and reduce duplications has been evident to us for some time, and was the subject of a review we started late last year.

"However, we now find ourselves faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances that have forced us to accelerate the implementation of that review's conclusions, and actually go even further. It's now critical we right size our organisation and make ourselves stronger and more focused in the delivery of exceptional travel products and services to consumers and trade partners alike as our industry rebuilds.

"This has been an incredibly difficult time for our people and they've risen to the challenge magnificently. They remain our primary focus and during the formal consultation that we launched today, we will be listening hard to their feedback to these proposals, providing them every opportunity we can to speak up, and giving them whatever support is necessary."

Suppliers, travel agent partners and consortia members of Gold Medal, Travel 2, and The Global Travel Group have also been notified of the proposed changes.

Bevan added: "We will continue to proactively engage with our valued agent partners, suppliers and consortia members to inform them of our plans, and how we expect to work with them in the future. I want to thank all those parties in advance for their support during this process, as well as their continued professionalism as we work to fulfil our obligations to customers whose travel plans have been disrupted by the pandemic, or who are keen to discuss future holidays with us."

Agents quickly took to social media to express their sadness about the plans, with many praising the teams whose jobs are at risk.

The news came within days of redundancy announcements at Kuoni in Dorking and at the Neilson head office in Brighton.

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