Following BA news that has shocked the nation, Jeff Harmon, SVP of Sabre Online Travel Solutions gives ITN his response.
British Airways is cutting 5,800 more jobs and plans a “significant restructuring” of its short-haul business in a bid to cut costs and debts.
The airline has said the job losses are on top of 7,200 previously announced and are aimed at helping to make GBP 650 million annual savings. Chief executive Rod Eddington says BA must be transformed into a “simpler, leaner, more focused airline”.
British Airways` move to market more of its product via the Internet
reinforces Sabre`s long-held belief that the travel agency community should
have a presence in this channel, too.
Jeff Harmon comments “If the travel agency community don`t
have a internet presence, how can they compete
for the hundreds and thousands of travel bookings that are being made online
every month? Especially as people become more confident with booking their
travel online and start doing so in even greater numbers than today”.
He added “This week`s news from British Airways comes on top of the recent launch of
Opodo , yet another online travel site. Sabre took the opportunity at that
stage to warn agents that now is the time to establish a bookable presence
on the Internet. Yesterday`s news makes this warning even more relevant.
The line between business and e-business is fast becoming invisible. Agents
could, and should, be competing strongly in the burgeoning online channel by
establishing their own online booking sites, and ensuring that their
negotiated rates are available online as well as in the shop”.