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Travel News update: 23 May

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May 23, 2010 Travel News No Comments

There is a lot of important travel news coming through at the moment, and it is worth summarising quickly a few of the more important ones.

1. BA strikes. Whether the Unions succeed in a 2 week strike, or 1 day strike over the next few weeks, the fear of strikes is hitting future bookings with BA hard. Willie Walsh, CEO, has come out and said that no matter what happens from here, there will be a fire sale of seats of the summer to win back loyal customers. That is, they will dump seats at very low prices.

Ryanair, Easyjet and a few of the other Scheduled airlines immediately responded that they would retaliate. Bad for the long term (price wars never benefit the customers over the long term, as somehow companies have to make that money back) but good for the summer. Expect, at this stage, some pretty good prices not just out of the UK, but also many European destinations.

2. The ash cloud saga. The cloud has not been such a big problem lately, but the main change is the maximum volume of ash in the air that airlines are allowed to fly through. If they had applied this new standard to the problems in April, more than 50% of the flights that were grounded would have flown. So future disruption (as long as the volcano doesn’t get very angry) should be minimal.

3. Roman tourist levels. Although they are nothing like before, there are certainly a larger number of tourists than 2009. Still many large groups dominated by Vatican travel leaving a lot of the smaller hotels, apartment groups and independent travel guides struggling, but Rome is showing itself to be quite resilient.

If anyone wants to add to this list of understanding the market and the future, please contribute in the comments section below.

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