Air Transport World

Common goal; citing airline megalinks, Guild of European Travel Agents aims to avoid the short end for the business flier.

Common goal London--Alarmed by the impact that European Commission plans for aviation liberalization could have on their sector, travel agents in nine countries specializing in the business market have banded together to speak with one voice at Common Market headquarters in Brussels.

Called the Guild of European Travel Agents, the new body was set up earlier this year, with Alan Spence of the U.K. as president and france's Jean-Claude Murat as VP. David Reynolds, CEO of the British Guild of Business Travel Agents (GBTA), is secretary.

Reynolds, who became CEO of GBTA--a lobby that represents business travelers' interests before government departments, airport operators airlines and the CAA--three years ago after a 27-year career with British Airways, mostly in senior management positions overseas, including the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, ITaly, South Africa and India, explained to ATW that, "it was observed that airlines were getting together in Europe to form big marketing alliances and 'megacomputer' systems. So we felt that unless business travel agents also got together and spoke with a single voice across international boundaries to the people who regulate the business, individual travel agents would find themselves in the wilderness when liberalization of air transport in Europe comes in 1993. …

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