Bulletin 16 from Michael Edwards, Managing Director

Could there finally be some light at the end of the longest tunnel in travel industry history? (And let’s face it, for an industry effected by everything from weather to politics that’s saying something)! In the past two weeks, we’ve had news of more than one vaccine on the horizon, travel corridors announced for the UAE, Iceland and more, plus there is now a quarantine task force in place looking at halving the quarantine period - with the overall aim of boosting consumer confidence and boosting international travel – about time!

We have also seen the introduction of shorter Ticketing Time Limits for example BA and Virgin (more detail below) and enhanced flexibility policies from some major airlines including; Emirates and Qatar Airways, whose networks span across the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean.   Etihad Airways have also just released a new FOC cancellation option, which permits travellers to cancel their IT bookings up until 10 days prior to departure for any reason as per the fare rules. This presents a great opportunity if hotels will agree to similar timings for cancellation and / or payment terms.  This way, packages can be sold for travel up to end of March - with significantly diluted risk of loss to yourselves and / or indeed encourage more customers to book – given supplier payments are not committed to + 14 days before departure. I understand some hotels are keen to support this positive step and therefore, if your clients are looking for a Caribbean break on BA or Virgin, an Indian Ocean R&R,  a Middle Eastern jaunt, a South African safari or are just desperate to escape the doom and gloom of the UK – these new policies can help .  Hopefully this will encourage late bookings for travel January through to March and the so-called pent up demand is converted into profitable business for all of us.

Remember all our IT fares do not require any deposit or financial commitment until ticketing.

In addition to highlighting the above, we have received extensive feedback around our technology capability highlighted in my last edition of this Bulletin, so I thought it would be prudent to give an update on our API connectivity and cache product here, in case you missed it.

Our API capability can provide fares direct into your own proprietary in-house system or to your system provider as we are already connected to many tour operator system providers. This can provide you with a more efficient way of quoting and creating bookings with the transaction happening directly between us and your own systems.  We have also developed a techy cache product for those of you who have a consumer booking website and speed of pricing is a key priority.

If you would like to discuss our API/Cache products please email partnerships@travelinnovationgroup.com To read more about our technology and how it can help you, please refer to Bulletin 15, section 3 here.

This bulletin covers:
1 - Introduction
2 - Refunds (flights, BSPLink, Groups) - current status
3 - We Are With You - Operations & reservations team split, A welcome boost for Q4/Q1 and PCR testing discount & commission 
4 - Airline Partner Updates from Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Qatar Airways, SriLankan and South African Airways

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