Tui Travel UK boss Johan Lundgren has dismissed the deal between easyJet and Lowcost Travel Group as a threat to Europe’s biggest travel group.
Travel Weekly revealed the partnership between easyJet and accommodation provider Lowcost on Sunday. The tie-up promises a massive expansion of the budget carrier’s holiday business.
But speaking at World Travel Market on Monday, Lundgren said: “The low-cost carriers and bed banks are not a threat to us. If there is growth in other parts of the industry, that is fine. The fact that a lot of volume is coming into destinations on low-cost carriers is good for their infrastructure.”
Lundgren insisted: “We don’t want to be a commodity business. Plenty of companies offer that. We want to produce something unique, not just a seat from A to B.
“We focus on fewer hotels, so we can control what happens in the hotel. That requires scale and not many companies can provide that scale. We offer 1,500-1,700 hotels. Some companies say they offer 10,000. But people want one holiday. You don’t go into a shop wanting a choice of 10,000 shirts. It is too many.”
He added: “Our business in the UK will always be about scale. We are not moving away from the mainstream. But people want different things. Some just want to get away. Some want to relax, some want to energise themselves. Some want time with their partner or with their children.”
- More from World Travel Market at travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2010