The new charter programme launched by the parent company of Gold Medal and Travel 2 will focus on regional airports across the country, with flights set to be on sale before Christmas, dnata Travel Europe’s chief executive has revealed.
John Bevan said the new operation would “definitely not be a London-centric proposition”.
The move will see the group creating short and medium-haul capacity which will be used across dnata’s B2B and B2C portfolio, the latter of which includes Travel Republic, Netflights and Travelbag.
Dnata has appointed former Thomas Cook Airlines’ digital, UK and international sales director Henry Sunley as director of air supply at the group, to lead the operation. He said he was “particularly excited by the opportunity to build a charter proposition for the group, using my expertise in this area to maximise what we see as being a market with considerable potential.”
Speaking to TTG, Bevan said: “We’re more interested in doing regional departures across the UK.
“Gatwick is quite a busy airport so there’s less opportunity to add capacity there. We’re interested in working with Manchester and other airports in the north and maybe some other regions. We’re absolutely focused on regional airports – we’re talking to all sorts at the moment and we’re looking at all options,” he added.
Bevan remained tight-lipped on which destinations the charter programme would fly to, confirming only that dnata was “looking at developing a charter programme to suppliers to fill some of the gap left by Thomas Cook’s departure which focuses on the destinations that work best for our businesses.”
He added the aim was to have some of the routes on sale before Christmas with flights then beginning in spring 2020.
Bevan said he had received “a lot” of interest from travel agents since TTG broke news of the charter programme last week.
“It’s been great to see the interest from the trade. We will be speaking to lots of trade partners and working with them to gauge their interest and help shape what should be done to support the trade with more flying and more options.”