Dnata Travel Group chief executive John Bevan has hinted at a move towards its operator brands taking payments directly from consumers.
He said while dnata would not insist on the process, it would be “changing the way we work”.
“On the direct payments, I think we’ll be able to offer a suite of choices," he told Abta’s virtual travel convention.
“We know for a fact some homeworkers would rather do that, because they already run a separate account for their customers and don’t want to get muddled up.
“So if a tour operator takes the money and is the contracted party then we can just return the commission to the agent.”
He added dnata had many ways in which it credit checks agents, and only works with businesses “where we know we’re insured for the volumes and pipeline monies”.
“A lot of these things are going to be up for debate and we need to find the right arrangement for both sides,” said Bevan. “It’s not about one forcing the other to do something – it’s still a commercial arrangement.
“But we want to do what’s right for the customer at the end of the day and sell more holidays. We want to make the customers feel confident their money’s safe and can turn it around quicker.”
Bevan said the data piece dnata was working on following the collapse of Thomas Cook – asking for more client information – was “not quite in place” before Covid hit, but is still in its plans.
“In this case it was difficult to reach some customers, especially of those travel agents who furloughed everyone.
“We were kind of stuck in the middle as couldn’t get hold of anyone to help.”