SPAA reveals 'root and branch' review

SPAA reveals 'root and branch' review

The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) is undergoing a “root and branch” exercise to review the role of the group, its president has revealed.

Speaking at the Association’s 86th annual dinner in Glasgow, Alan Glen said he “recognised the need for change" in light of challenges facing the industry.

He also said the group had become more involved in the big issues affecting travel, including APD and airport expansion, and seen a “resurgence” in the SPAA.

Addressing guests at the event last night (Thurs), Glen said: “We recognise the need for change so we’ve started a route and branch exercise about what we do and why we do it.”

He added: “Occasionally the harmony between suppliers and agents is disrupted and partnerships dissolve but that’s where the SPAA comes in to its own”, describing the group as the “glue” that brings the industry together.

Asked afterwards about the threats facing the trade, such as undercutting or heavy discounting, he told Travel Weekly: “We will always fight a member’s corner but we will fight for them on an individual basis when it crops up.

“Threats will always come along but agents are adaptable. We are survivors.”

Glen declined to give specific details of what changes lay ahead for the SPAA but said they would be revealed in the next few months, with members being informed first.

“In any business you have to look at what you are doing and ask if it makes sense,” he said. “It’s about utilising our time in the best way and keeping members happy.”

Delivering the event’s keynote speech was Glasgow Airport managing director, Amanda McMillan.

The airport, which carried just under nine million passengers last year, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

McMillan said Scotland was now better connected than ever before but called for more direct action on cutting APD.

She also backed increased “hub connectivity” at Heathrow but said: “Rather than channelling our energy on Heathrow or Gatwick, we should be focused on securing capacity for Scotland.”

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