By Bev Fearis, published 05/08/20
Travel management companies are demanding an urgent ‘parachute package’ from the Government to help them survive the year.
They argue that while sectors such as hospitality have benefitted from specific Government support, the business travel sector has not, despite contributing £220 billion a year to UK GDP.
Developed by the Business Travel Association, the package includes repayable business support to cover 60% of TMC salaries until at least the end of 2020. The BTA says this will then be repaid by TMCs through 10% of profits each quarter.
The association is also calling for a 12-month business rates holiday and a 12-month suspension of Air Passenger Duty to provide an immediate stimulus for travel.
It believes Premium Economy should no longer be taxed in the same band as First and Business Class and that when APD is restored half the money raised should be ring-fenced and invested in environmental measures such as the development of aviation biofuels.
In letters to the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Business Secretary, BTA CEO Clive Written said the measures were required to stem the loss of up to 10,000 jobs.
“Our industry plays a crucial role in helping British business travel and trade and until demand returns we urgently need Government support to help us survive,” he said.
“Targeted and limited Government backing for the business travel sector will not only save many jobs in our industry, but underpin one of the vital support pillars for British business as a whole.”