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Can I be sure my business trip will take place?

At GTM, we know how critical clients’ meetings are. But carefully planned business trips can be at risk if suppliers fail to meet their obligations.

As well as the terrible job losses, the news of Thomas Cook’s demise in September 2019 and that of Monarch Airlines in October 2017 caused huge problems for holiday makers and unprecedented peace-time repatriation efforts.

Disruption to holiday plans is upsetting and unsettling. But if business travel plans are compromised, even more could be at stake.

So, at GTM, we make sure we offer our clients the greatest levels of protection and confidence possible. To back up the professional service all clients receive from our experienced business travel consultants, we benefit from membership and accreditation from a number of professional travel organisations.

GTM is accredited by IATA The International Air Trade Association comprises 290 airlines, representing 117 countries. IATA accreditation is the industry’s “seal of approval” and is recognised worldwide. You can find out more about IATA here https://www.iata.org

GTM is a member of ABTA ABTA, The Travel Association (formerly, the Association of British Travel Agents) maintains a Code of Conduct for its members, so that our clients benefit from accurate information; advice on passport, visa and health requirements; an offer of alternative accommodation in the case of building works. You can find out more about ABTA here https://www.abta.com/

GTM holds an ATOL licence The Air Travel Operators’ Licence is the independent specialist aviation regulatory arm of the Civil Aviation Authority. The ATOL scheme ensures its members are financially sound and that clients are protected in case of company failure. You can find out more about ATOL here https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/Our-role/

GTM is part of the Advantage Travel Partnership The Advantage Travel Partnership is the United Kingdom’s largest independent travel agency partnership, solely owned by its members. You can find out more about the Advantage Travel Partnershp here https://www.advantagemembers.com/

GTM is a member of the WIN Global Travel Network The WIN Global Travel Network is a connected group of travel management companies employing more than 30,000 people in 75 countries, providing round-the-clock support and ensuring service excellence. You can find out more about the WIN Global Travel Network here https://wintravel.org/

The diligent professionalism with which our staff carry out travel management for our clients is enhanced and backed-up by our long association with these travel organisations. So, if any business trip is let down by a supplier being unable to carry out its commitments, GTM is perfectly placed to ensure that others can step in and save the day.

Qantas to operate “Project Sunrise” research: Direct flights from London and New York to Sydney

Qantas has announced three ultra long-haul research flights to gather new data about inflight passenger and crew health and wellbeing.

The flights form part of planning for Project Sunrise – Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York.

The three flights over three months will use new Boeing 787-9s and re-route their planned delivery flights. Instead of flying empty from Seattle to Australia, the aircraft will simulate two Project Sunrise routes – London and New York to Sydney.

Each flight will have a maximum of 40 people, including crew, in order to minimise weight and give the necessary fuel range. Carbon emissions from the flights will be fully offset.

People in the cabin – mostly Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the approximately 19 hour flights. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment to assess impact on health, wellbeing and body clock.

Monash University researchers will work with pilots  to record crew melatonin levels before, during and after the flights.  Pilots will wear an EEG (electroencephalogram) device that tracks brain wave patterns and monitors alertness.  The aim is to establish data to assist in building the optimum work and rest pattern for pilots operating long haul services.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the flights will give medical experts the chance to do real-time research that will translate into health and wellbeing benefits.

Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew. These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.
Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.

No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before and we’ll be using the results to help shape the cabin design, inflight service and crew roster patterns for Project Sunrise. We’ll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing long-haul flights.

Qantas has already conducted data on passenger sleep strategies on its direct Perth–London service, and some of these initial findings will be assessed further as part of these dedicated research flights. Customer feedback on food choices, separate stretching and wellbeing zones and entertainment options will also be tested.

Airbus and Boeing have both pitched aircraft (A350 and 777X) to Qantas that are capable of operating Project Sunrise flights with a viable commercial payload. A final decision on Project Sunrise – which depends on aircraft economics, regulatory approvals and industrial agreements – is expected by the end of December 2019.

Global Travel Management Sales Director Paul Baker commented:

This is an exciting innovation from Qantas, an airline we have been working with for many years.  We wish them all the best and look forward to being able to offer London-Sydney non-stop flights to GTM customers from the end of 2019.

MAKE YOUR DAY – by flying from Bristol Airport!

Bristol Airport – one of the oldest civil airports in the country – is going from strength to strength, with several new routes being announced this Summer by a number of airlines. But what does the airport have in common with Dirty Harry actor and former Mayor of Carmel, Clint Eastwood?

Approximately 8.7 million passengers use the North Somerset airport annually and this is expected to grow to 10 million by 2021 and 12 million within a further five years.

This growth is expected to be driven by the increasing number of destinations served by Bristol Airport. The increase in passenger numbers will mean a corresponding rise in the number of aircraft movements to 97,393 per annum, an increase of just over 23,800 on the 2017 numbers.

As well as connecting businesses to new markets, Bristol Airport is also a major local employer. Just under 4,000 people currently work on the airport site. This is expected to rise by more than 1,000 by the time the airport is handling 12 million passengers a year.

Development is forecast to generate additional benefits of £1.4 billion to the regional economy over the next decade. Connectivity provided by flights to and from Bristol also helps friends and families stay in touch and enables local people to enjoy different cultures, climates and experiences. 

A number of airlines have announced new services to and from Bristol Airport. These include:

  • Ryanair – the Irish ow-cost carrier has announced a new, weekly route between Bristol and Grenoble, commencing January 2020
  • easyJet – the low-cost carrier headquartered at Luton will launch a new route from Bristol to Hurghada from 30 October 2019
  • easyJet has launched routes from Bristol to Milan, Biarritz, Brindisi, Montpellier and Rhodes this Summer
  • easyJet has also increased its services from Bristol to Lyon, to run all-year round, from this Summer
  • KLM – the Dutch airline has added 10,000 seats per year between Bristol and Amsterdam, commencing last month, offering connections to 162 cities across the world
  • Brussels Airlines – the Belgian airline will connect Bristol with Brussels twelve times a week, from 1 September 2019

As well as increasing passenger numbers and routes, Bristol Airport has worked with North Somerset Council to ensure access to the airport is improved. The council has worked to surface-dress a six-kilometre stretch of the busy A38, between the South Bristol Link Road and the junction with Downside Road.

Bristol Airport is fast becoming an airport of choice for businesses in the South West of England. With its connections improving and choice of routes increasing, it is easy to see why passenger numbers are increasing from the airport.

But Bristol Airport isn’t just relying on improving its impact on the economy of the South West of England. It’s also ensuring its environmental impact is managed and improved too. The airport has published a carbon roadmap setting out how it will achieve its ambition to be a net zero airport and accelerating efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.

Included in its targets are:

  • Carbon neutral target fast-tracked to 2025
  • Carbon levy to offset all road journeys
  • Flights to fall under international agreement to keep emissions at 2020 levels

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said,

Bristol Airport is a success story for businesses in the South West of England. That’s why airlines like KLM, Brussels Airlines, easyJet and Ryanair are increasing their routes and capacity from Bristol. The airport was awarded “Highly Commended” in the ACI Europe Best Awards scheme this month. This is a confirmation of the work Bristol Airport is undertaking to serve the businesses and passengers of the region.

Every scheduled airline flying to and from Bristol Airport is available to book within Global Travel Management’s system. So we are very pleased to be able to offer flight, accommodation and other travel services for all businesses needing to make use of Bristol Airport. We congratulate them and are happy to help play our part in the airport’s future success.

So, what has Bristol Airport got to do with Clint Eastwood? They are exactly the same age – Bristol Airport was officially opened by HRH Prince George on 31 May 1930, the day Clint Eastwood was born.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to fly to or from Bristol Airport.

Bristol: easyJet launches second daily Paris flight, increases aircraft count and adds Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz flights

easyJet has announced a number of expansion developments at its Bristol base. The airline will position a 17th aircraft at its South West base and has added three brand new routes to the Bristol network. easyJet will also provide even more frequent flights to some of Bristol’s most in demand destinations, providing great value trips or low-fared commutes for even more passengers.

Brand new easyJet routes to Milan and Brindisi in Italy and Biarritz in France will launch in July. The airline will add a second daily flight between Bristol and Paris from July to allow day trips for business travellers

A further 186-seat Airbus A320 aircraft will now be based in Bristol and joins seven 156-seat Airbus A319 and nine 186-seat A320 aircraft currently serving the airline’s customers in the South West. The additional aircraft will provide 93,000 additional seats for customers looking to travel to and from Bristol this summer.

Three new routes have joined the easyJet Bristol network, bringing the total routes now available to 74.

A route between Bristol and Milan Malpensa will operate four times a week throughout the year on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, with first flights taking off on 1 July. Flights between Bristol and Brindisi in Southern Italy will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays and will launch on 3 July and flights between Bristol and Biarritz in the South of France will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays with flights launching on 2 July, both operating throughout the summer season.

easyJet will also increase its Bristol – Paris Charles de Gaulle frequency, adding an additional daily flight to and from the French capital, providing even more opportunity for customers to enjoy a city getaway and a convenient schedule will allow for great value day trips for commuters from businesses across the South West.

The airline now operates up to 770 flights a week from Bristol across 74 routes, 10% more flights compared to summer 2018.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said:

We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating further expansion at Bristol Airport. The addition of another aircraft and even more routes will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth at the base providing passengers with an even greater range of convenient flights to a fantastic variety of destinations across our network – all with low fares and great service.

We’re putting flights on sale, allowing our customers to book early and take advantage of our lowest fares to some of our most popular business and leisure destinations.

Our ongoing growth at Bristol demonstrates easyJet’s long-term commitment to providing connectivity for the South West. We continue to be the largest airline at Bristol and in the coming weeks we will carry our 55 millionth passenger, showing that our customers continue to book with confidence.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director for Bristol Airport said:

This is fantastic news as easyJet continues to invest in Bristol Airport and basing seventeen aircraft at its second largest base. The additional aircraft will provide extra flights to Paris, and an additional three new destinations of Milan, Brindisi and Biarritz to the route network from Bristol Airport. The additional flight to Paris will provide twice daily flights to this hub city, particularly required by businesses in the region for the long-haul route connectivity. These new routes increase the choice of destinations available to passengers in the South West and Wales region, selecting to fly from their local airport.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management commented:

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management Sales Director

easyJet’s expansion at Bristol gives passengers greater flexibility and more options. At Global Travel Management, we take care to create the most efficient flight itineraries for customers. These added services will mean we can create travel itineraries that match our customers’ requirements even better. So, as well as the great value that low-cost airlines like easyJet provide, we can tailor trips that perfectly match customers’ travel requirements by combining routes across any carrier.

easyJet’s expansion gives Global Travel Management even more opportunities to create cost-saving, time-saving trips for customers.

Contact your GTM Account Manager next time you need to book an easyJet flight, or when you have a trip from, to or via Bristol.

JetBlue to launch services from London to Boston and New York

JetBlue has announced it intends to launch multiple daily flights from New York and Boston to London in 2021.

The new routes, which will be served by Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft, will mark the first-ever transatlantic service offered by the award-winning airline.

Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer of JetBlue, explained how the airline came to the decision to start services to London:

Twenty years ago, our founders had a simple formula for choosing a new market – it had to be overpriced, underserved, or both.

London is the largest metro area JetBlue doesn’t yet serve from both Boston and New York, and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead.

The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.

Known in the U.S. for having the most legroom in economy, live television at every seat, free Wi-Fi internet, complimentary snacks and soft drinks, and great customer service, JetBlue’s entrance into the transatlantic market should introduce a new era of customer-focused, low-fare travel for both business and leisure travellers. The airline’s Mint premium experience, which disrupted transcontinental travel in the U.S. with accessible fares and a thoughtful reinvention of the business class cabin, promises to offer transatlantic customers a fresh choice.

Some of JetBlue’s 22,000 crewmembers

Growth into Europe seems to be the next natural step in JetBlue’s focus city expansion strategy. The new service will strengthen JetBlue’s relevance in its two largest focus cities while also answering calls from loyal business and leisure customers who have, until now, been forced to fly other carriers to and from London.

According to JetBlue, the airline is “developing a reimagined, transatlantic version of its premium Mint product” which will feature more lie-flat seats than currently offered on the airline’s existing A321 aircraft. Transatlantic Mint product features and design elements, combined with JetBlue’s specially trained Mint inflight crewmembers, will “create an intimate and exclusive travel experience”. And, like its transcontinental Mint business model, “JetBlue will offer the elevated flying experience for a fraction of what other airlines are charging today for premium seats”.

JetBlue’s domestic U.S, customers in JetBlue Mint are used to the longest lie-flat seat (6’ 8”) on domestic premium flights, featuring a massage function, adjustable cushions and the only private suite among U.S. airlines.

Joanna Geraghty commented further:

The success Mint has had on driving down the exorbitant airfares that our competitors were charging, stimulating new demand, and forcing the entrenched carriers to up their game, is a big reason we believe London is the next natural market for JetBlue to be successful and make a positive impact on consumers.

JetBlue will initially convert 13 aircraft in its existing Airbus A321 order book to the LR version with the ability to convert more. The A321LR will allow JetBlue to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with its current single-aisle aircraft.


JetBlue is converting its orders of Airbus A321 to the longer-range A321LR.

Commenting on the new JetBlue relationship, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Scherer said:

JetBlue has pioneered new travel possibilities for their customers for years,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “All of us at Airbus are honoured to provide the strategic aircraft platform to enable this next chapter in the story of our partners at JetBlue.

Today, JetBlue serves nearly two dozen countries. The airline has been flying internationally for nearly fifteen years with a significant portion of its operations in the Caribbean and Latin America with flights reaching as far south as Ecuador and Peru.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management commented:

Jetblue’s entry to the transatantic market will be a boost for UK-based companies doing business in New York or Boston.  They will bring a fresh approach to the market and we look forward to making their offer available to our clients.

JetBlue will be a new name to many businesses in the UK, but, at GTM, we have years of experience with the airline: they’re one of the best-known airline brands in the United States. They make more than 1,000 flights a day, to more than 100 destinations, serving 42 million passengers annually. We book passengers on JetBlue flights very frequently and we have done for years. More competition on transatlantic routes will be of great benefit to our clients. 

GTM’s clients will benefit not just from the new service from London to Boston and New York, but also to JetBlue’s extensive onward network connections.

We will be able to pass on more information about these services – including prices and London airport details – when they become available.


Gatiwck to Milan on BA

British Airways to launch Gatwick – Milan route

Customers will soon be able to reach Milan from Gatwick with a year-round British Airways route to Milan Bergamo.  The six-per-week service launches on 1 September 2019.

Milano runway

Milan is Italy’s second city and is a renowned centre for art, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research and tourism.

Bergamo Airport is conveniently nestled between some of Italy’s most picturesque lakes and Milan.  The airport is 45km from the fashion capital.  And for customers wishing to extend their business trip and to enjoy an extended sunshine escape, Bergamo is the closest gateway to Lake Como and driving distance from Lake Garda, as well as the Franciacorta Wine Region. Bergamo also borders the Alps, providing access to a number of ski resorts during winter.

Adam Carson, British Airways’ Managing Director of Gatwick, said:

Milan Bergamo adds another exciting destination to our Gatwick network and is perfectly located for a city break, a summer visit to the lakes or even a skiing holiday in the Alps.

From Gatwick we fly to over 70 destinations as our network continues to expand we’re adding new routes designed to appeal to both leisure and business customers.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of GTM, said:

Flying from Gatwick enables BA’s Milan-bound passengers additional choice and convenience.  And, as Milan Bergamo is perfectly located for the sunshine of Lake Como and Lake Garda, it’s a great way to turn a purely business trip into a “bleisure” trip – something more people are asking us to arrange for them.

Seats are available to book from today with flights operating from 1 September, every day of the week apart from Saturday. Fares start from £25 one-way in Euro Traveller and £99 in Club Europe.  They can pick from a range of savings by destination and cabin while still collecting Avios and Tier Points on their bookings.

To book a flight to Milan from Gatwick, contact your GTM Account Manager. 

BRITISH AIRWAYS UNVEILS ITS NEW "CLUB SUITE" AND A350 AIRCRAFT

British Airways unveils its new A350 aircraft and the new business class “Club Suite”

British Airways has unveiled its highly-anticipated new business class seat – Club Suite – and confirmed it will arrive on the first of its A350 aircraft in July.

britishairways_21686246981997The airline’s sophisticated and newly-branded Club Suite offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40% more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, a 17″ or 18.5″ inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and USB power; every aspect of British Airways’ Club Suite has been designed for today’s customer.

britishairways_21686326819237The A350 aircraft itself will also promote a feeling of well-being, space and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light. Customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet. There are also environmental benefits to flying on the state-of the-art A350 as 25% lower fuel burn significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

britishairways_21686811518381As well as a new 56-seat Club World cabin, the three-cabin A350 will feature the latest World Traveller Plus cabin (56 seats) with new furnishings including a plush new pillow and warm quilt, new amenity kits and an enhanced service and an improved dining experience. The World Traveller (economy) cabin offers 219 seats. Customers will also benefit from high-speed Wi-Fi, allowing travellers to browse the internet on their personal electronic devices.

britishairways_216861670122336The airline, which is marking its centenary this year, will roll out the new suites in a carefully managed programme designed to minimise disruption to customers.

britishairways_216861516615173During phase one, the first A350 aircraft will start some short-haul flying between London and Madrid to allow the airline’s teams to perfect their customer service delivery and familiarise cabin crew with the aircraft layout.

britishairways_216861889038722In phase two, from 1 October 2019, the aircraft will begin long-haul flying. During this period another three A350 aircraft will join the British Airways fleet and two Boeing 777 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the new cabin.

britishairways_216861743831200At the start of 2020 phase three will begin which will see British Airways rolling out its Club Suite on further long-haul aircraft across the network.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

The arrival of our first A350 featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme.

Each new suite has direct aisle access and comes with a personal door – design features which were incorporated as a direct result of the feedback we’ve had from our customers. We’ve worked hard to ensure every aspect of the Club World experience from the lounges we’ve refreshed, to the new gourmet menus from Do&Co on flights from Heathrow, and the luxurious bedding we’ve introduced from The White Company exudes the very British style and quality customers expect from us.

At British Airways we have one of Europe’s largest long-haul fleets and most far-reaching global networks, so it will take some time to make the cabin available to everybody. We hope that as more customers have the chance to experience it, they’ll enjoy travelling in it as much as we’ve enjoyed designing it.

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management’s Sales Director, said:

British Airways has invested significant time and money in producing the Clube Suite product.  It offers GTM’s clients with the things they tell us they want most: Wi-Fi, power sockets, flat-bed seats and more storsge. At GTM, we like to make sure we are offering the best-possible service to all business travellers.  And BA’s offering appears to be doing exactly the same.

As part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment for its customers, the airline is also delivering changes to its First, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins, delivering exceptional new restaurant-style catering from Do&Co, rolling out industry-leading Wi-Fi on board and opening new lounges across the world.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you want to book on First, World Traveller Plus or World Traveller on British Airways routes.