The president of the Portuguese Association of Travel Agencies and Travel Agencies (APAVT) states that the “biggest problem” that TAP’s “performance” currently confronts with these companies is that they continue to engage in dialogue, although this has already become easier.
Lusa – Business Journal
“Our biggest problem right now is TAP performance.” This worries us because this is a bad TAP performance that we have to deal with daily with our customers. the head has a very, very unpleasant performance of punctuality, ”says Pedro Costa Ferreira in the statements of Lusé, about the 44th APAVT National Congress, which begins today in Ponta Delgad in the Azores.
According to the same head of APAVT, who quoted the data of the specialized company OAG in July of this year, "TAP performance in terms of punctuality was 47% on time, which put TAP in the rating of 181 out of 201 companies that were accompanied by this statistics."
Already in September, “it is obvious that punctuality improved slightly, not extraordinary – 50.9%, but this is a small lie, because if it is true that slight punctuality has increased, it was connected much more with the month of the year, which is correct for TAP competitiveness with in terms of punctuality, ”he adds.
“The truth is that the TAP rating fell from July to September from 181 to 186 in 198 airlines,” says Pedro Costa Ferreira.
Thus, taking into account that “punctuality is the first criterion of“ corporate ”, [viagens de negócios]“And for travel agents, this segment is“ an extremely important business, ”you can calculate the“ difficulties ”agencies have in managing clients' lives, explains the president of APAVT.
On November 15, TAP executive director Antoaldo Neves said in Vila Nova de Gaia that delays in TAP cost 40 million euros more than in 2017.
The carrier’s manager acknowledged that this value is “very punishable” not only for those who travel, but also for the company, given the “compensation” that he must pay.
However, Pedro Costa Ferreira indicates that, in addition to lack of punctuality, there were “bad experiences in landing, as well as some interruption in service”.
“In any case, punctuality seems to me the most important point in the absence of TAP service quality,” he emphasizes, recalling that the TAP CEO also recently said in an interview that “there was poor planning for crew formation, despite everything being slightly compensated by that the pilots fly on weekends and holidays, adding that this “does not delete the number by itself” and is what “bothers” APAVT.
When asked how these restrictions affect travel agents, Pedro Costa Ferreira cited several examples.
“The big question is that the travel agents who are behind the curtain deal with the needs of the client who missed the plane or meeting or missed the call or lack of punctuality. …). The main consequence for the client, which we already know, is the loss of the quality of the trip, and for the travel agency, the loss of profitability, because for the same trip we obviously fulfill our best practice duties, and therefore the subsequent trip that has already been sold “It’s made with a lot more time and a lot more cost,” he explains.
About APAVT Congress and asked if there was a dialogue with the company, which, as the program shows, reduced attendance at this annual meeting of travel agencies, Pedro Costa Ferreira responds: “There is no denying that the visibility of the company at our congress [antes parceira] today less than it was many years ago, but from the point of view of the representation of the sector and the president of this association, there must always be openness for the future dialogue. ”
“I don’t think that it is possible to improve the quality of the trip and the safety of our passengers if there is no dialogue between those who are closest to them, who are travel agents, and who are still transporting them to Portugal, which is TAP,” he said.
“I’m not saying that TAP doesn’t have a dialogue, but there’s no way to deny that the quality of the dialogue with TAP is not as good as in previous years. improve it [o diálogo] not offended, because in business, what should always determine us is the stability of our clients and the quality of our work. ”
The sector is recovering from the crisis in 2018
It is expected that the travel agencies sector will fully recover from the beginning of the crisis at the end of the year, while the chairman of APAVT will increase the total turnover by 9-10%.
“The recent history of travel agencies is a story of growth. Travel agencies have grown in recent years more than the national economy, have grown more than tourism, have grown more than air travel, and this year, despite all these new difficulties and the regulatory atmosphere, we expect to increase to 10% at the end of the year , and in the "corporate" – [segmento de viagens de negócios] we will not be far from 8% or 9%, ”said the President of the Portuguese Association of Travel and Travel Agencies (APAVT) Lúce.
Not understanding the total cost of the proposed turnover, Pedro Costa Ferreira says, however, that only when selling air tickets to regular airlines will the cost be close to 900 million euros.
"We have an important statistic that is selling air tickets on regular airlines, which we call BSP, and we are in September by accumulating to grow by 7%, which is quite attractive for this sector, especially if we think about the emergency this year we had to manage with our clients, motivated by a break in the “performance” of TAP quality, ”explains Pedro Costa Ferreira.
Therefore, “if we talk only about regular airline tickets, then this year we will be very close to 900 million euros,” he adds.
This suggests that in the global – leisure and corporate travel – in terms of turnover, the president of APAVT claims that he can expect growth between "9-10%" in 2018.
“This is a pretty attractive number if we think that in recent years we have grown at a very similar pace. I would say that we have reached this year, of course, the figures for 2008, and we can say that we have fully recovered from the beginning of the crisis. ”
For accounts, this contributes to the entry into force last July of a new travel directive on packages, but whose quantitative estimate of the additional costs of the responsible person says that he does not have, even because the sector’s work “received higher costs”, but it also it’s true that, like “in any economic transaction,” these costs are passed on to the consumer, he notes
“Thus, a balance that ends sooner or later must be achieved,” he says.
“As we know, this new directive adds additional responsibilities to travel agents, as well as increases the safety of consumers traveling with travel agents. There was, of course, some concern, because it was a completely new legal framework in terms of responsibility and even the big truth is that we faced this regulatory framework in the summer, and everything went well, ”said Pedro Costa Ferreira.
According to the president of APAVT, “normal operations were really the rule,” and the association developed insurance that allowed agencies to sell them and insure a new risk.
"From this point of view, I think we can all be satisfied, transposition [da diretiva] We were able to organize a new atmosphere of relations between customers and travel agents, and, above all, travel agents were also among the new responsibilities, ”he says.
The 44th APAVT National Congress starts today in Ponta Delgada in the Azores and brings together more than 600 agents from the sector to discuss the problems of tourism growth in Portugal.