Since Thursday 15 April, when airspace over the UK, and subsequently Europe, was closed:
* 63,000 flights have been cancelled, and
* Rail and ferry services have reported a period of extreme demand with up to 8 times more passengers for the scheduled services
* Approximately 40,000 HRG clients were originally stranded
Against this backdrop,
* Over 300 HRG staff volunteered to work longer hours and over the weekend, taking
* 25,000 calls, through HRG’s 24 hour and emergency call lines alone, to ensure clients were looked after and reassured.
As the ongoing closure of airspace continues to impact business travellers worldwide, HRG will also continue to operate extended opening hours across Europe, with additional staff providing support on a 24 hour basis.
Clients and their travellers have been kept informed of progress in the industry and many have expressed their thanks at the handling of the situation.
David Radcliffe, Chief Executive of HRG comments: “Communication at a time like this is vital. Our management information and security data has come into its own in providing our clients with corporate and individual traveller information. As a result of our established contingency services, we have also found ourselves helping people who normally work with other travel management companies.”
He continues: “In the midst of this unprecedented situation, our focus is on our clients and their travellers to make sure we do everything we possibly can to mitigate their inconvenience. The priority for most clients at the moment is to repatriate their travellers and, as a result, some are introducing temporary bans for any journey that has not already commenced. To help them achieve this, we have been arranging ground transportation services across Europe and routing clients into southern Europe on flights from/to intercontinental airports. If appropriate and available, we have chartered aircraft to meet client needs. Where repatriation has not been possible, HRG has not only secured and extended hotel rooms for clients whose travellers are having an enforced extended stay, but we have also guaranteed payment on behalf of stranded clients where credit card values and ceilings have been exceeded.”