TOUR operators may benefit from the disruption caused by the recent bad weather and strikes in Spain because they “look after their customers”.
Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long said that recent events, including the snow which closed Gatwick for three days last week and hit Scottish airports, had highlighted to consumers the value of tour operators over no-frills airlines. “We are trying to make it very clear that, in periods of uncertainty when we get bad weather, the big tour operators will look after you,” he said. “With all the chaos, it has been shown that we do a better job as a major tour operator. Customer sentiment is changing towards us in a positive way as we don't leave customers stranded.” More than 20'000 UK passengers were left stranded by last Friday's strike, which lasted until Saturday afternoon when Spain issued an emergency decree to end the 24-hour industrial action that saw the military taking over its air traffic control system.

Flights to Spain have now returned to normal but the decree may be used to stop further strikes over the Christmas and New Year holidays. SEE PAGE 7


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