The boss of Hoseasons parent Awaze UK has told TTG he’s keen for agents to sell as much of the group’s UK holiday portfolio as possible this summer.
Awaze switched off partner sales during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, with chief executive Henrik Kjellberg explaining the group’s systems and processes simply weren’t set up to manage the whole market coming to an abrupt standstill.
“We’re back on with partners, including the trade, and we’re doing it in a gradual fashion,” he said.
“We expect to keep that development going over the next couple of weeks.” Kjellberg said Awaze and its brands were working to a 4 July resumption date. “The UK is our only major market where there’s been no guidance,” he said.
"We’re selling out in other countries. I’m convinced if there was a go-ahead in the UK, we’d sell out here too. We have great product, and we hope the trade will sell as much of it as possible."
Kjellberg also addressed Awaze’s decision to voluntarily commit to a new cancellation and refunds policy amid the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) ongoing refunds investigation.
He said while Awaze brands initially offered vouchers and free cancellations, this was extended to include full refunds from 30 April when the CMA clarified its position on cancellations owing to Covid-19.
“We realised their interpretation of the legislation was different to ours,” said Kjellberg.
“We 100% believe we’ve acted legally at all times. We’re working hard to offer consumers what they want, whether that’s a change of booking, a voucher, or a refund.”