Emirates and Virgin to cash in on BA strikes
Agents say they won't sell BA to clients until strikes are over
As BA cabin crew begin a five-day walk out today, travel agents say they are diverting their customers onto other airlies until the situation is fully resolved.
Sunil D'souza, country manager UAE & Oman, Kanoo Travel said: “given the current scenario, we are diverting our clients booked on BA to other airlines to protect their travel plans.”
Rajshree Raj, supervisor, Alshamel International agreed: “We do not recommend BA at this weak stage to our customers due to schedule changes and irregularities.”
She added that airlines such as Emirates and Virgin would be able to cash in on the situation: “The competition on the most popular route from Dubai to London has paved the way for Virgin Atlantic to offer their promos. And Emirates - even with a 10 percent increase in their fares last week is surely benefitting from this ordeal. More and more clients are choosing these two airlines over BA for this period.”
However agents also felt that BA had “strong customer loyalty” in the Gulf which would help the airline to bounce back once the ordeal was over. “BA has been servicing this region for many years now and they have strong customer loyalty in this market,” said Raj. “The current situation is causing them huge losses from the market share for now but they will eventually bounce back due to their marketing strategies, attractive fares, offers and ability to keep customers booking with them.”
D'souza added that BA was a “good airline and we still recommend our clients to fly them once their schedules are scaled back to normalcy.”
A spokesperson from BA said the airline had found the Middle East travel trade to be “immensely supportive of our efforts” during the strike action.
Unite, the trade union representing cabin crew has announced its intention to strike on 24 - 28 May, 30 May – 3 June and 5 – 9 June leading to thousands of flight cancellations.