Travel Republic to ‘grab more of mass market’ with Dubai backing

Travel Republic to ‘grab more of mass market’ with Dubai backing

Travel Republic boss Kane Pirie expects the online travel agent to take a bigger share of the mainstream holiday market after its buyout by Dubai-based Dnata.

Speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly after news broke of the deal with the subsidiary of Middle East airline Emirates, Pirie said the company would continue to expand in the UK.

And he sought to reassure staff that there would be no job losses.

He said: "I’ve spoken to every member of staff and they are very happy because they understand this deal puts Travel Republic into the safest place.

"They are reassured this is good news. We have never made anyone redundant and don’t intend to do so."

The deal saw Dnata take a 75% stake in Travel Republic, with 25% remaining with its three directors, managing director Pirie, and co-founders Paul Furner and Chris Waite.

All three will remain in their posts for five years during which time they will strive to meet certain targets before Dnata acquires the remaining 25% stake.

Pirie added: "We’ve had aspirations for a long time to bring an investor in and we were very impressed with Dnata. It’s a very forward-thinking, ambitious company.

"This deal will help Dnata progress online in existing and new markets by using our industry-leading technology.

"For us it means we will continue to expand in the UK where we are gaining more and more market share from the likes of Thomas Cook and Tui, which are moving away from mass-market beach holidays.

"It will accelerate our expansion into western Europe and, by working with Dnata, we’ll speed up the rate at which we can expand into India and the Middle East.

"Dnata already has travel agency businesses, but they are predominantly offline. This gives them immediate and excellent online capability."

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