Comment: Kane able to do it again?

Comment: Kane able to do it again?

It’s no exaggeration to say the technology deployed by Travel Republic helped transform the booking of mass-market beach holidays 10 years ago, leading many companies to change their business models.

So when the architect returns to travel with a new venture promising the software behind it will revolutionise long-haul luxury holidays, it’s worth taking note.

Unsurprisingly, former Travel Republic CEO Kane Pirie wouldn’t give away too many secrets when I spoke to him this week, but he appears confident he has another game-changer on his hands. We’ll see if he can reshape the landscape a second time. The good news is that he wants agents to come with him on the journey this time.

Another company looking to shake things up is Monarch Group with the appointment of Richard Singer as managing director of Monarch Holidays.

Singer has a background in media, first in the national press and more recently in deals publishing, and no experience of tour operating. But perhaps a fresh way of thinking is exactly what Monarch needs as it looks to get back into the black by bringing the airline and tour operator closer together.

A look at our Talk Back page this week suggests that a different trade strategy might also help, with the company apparently having lost agents’ support due to a lack of price parity. It also suggests Monarch has lost ground to Jet2holidays, which has long been on a charm offensive with the trade – even more so with independents since it was taken off sale by Thomas Cook and Tui.

Singer has his work cut out, but Monarch is a great brand with a strong product. Getting disenfranchised agents back on side might be a sensible first priority.

Comment from August 17 edition of Travel Weekly

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