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Show 57 – World Travel Market Special

Show 57 was recorded at the 2017 World Travel Market from ExCeL, London and was produced in partnership with Lotus and supported by TINT.

  1. Richard Young, Heathrow Express
  2. Pilar Carbonell, Balearic Islands Government
  3. David Cochrane, Philippine Airlines
  4. Colin Stewart, Latin American Travel Association
  5. Wendy Pedder, Visit Guernsey

Part 1 – Richard Young, Sales and Distribution Manager of Heathrow Express

Interview starts at 0:34

Our first interview was with Richard Young, Sales and Distribution Manager of Heathrow Express who started by giving a bit of background as to who is using the service.

Russell Goldsmith (left) chats with Richard Young of Heathrow Express at World Travel Market

Richard said that Heathrow Express had had a great 2017, where their passenger numbers increased by 9%, which equated to an increase of around 400,000 passengers in the year for them.  He added that this growth had been driven by different strategies with their fares, for example, £15 weekend fares, which are helping to drive a different demand and so they are seeing a lot more leisure passengers using the service [as well as Business Travellers].  They also have advance purchase fares, which are as low as £5.50, plus they have seen a success with their ‘kids go free’ offer too.

Richard then shared some of the findings from Heathrow Express’ recent Business Travel Insights Report, with regards to millennials, who he said they found are increasingly tying to combine business trips with leisure.  They don’t have as much disposable income as previous generations may have had, so are looking to build any leisure time they have into a business trips.

2018 is a landmark year for Heathrow Express as they will be celebrating their 20th anniversary.  In that time, the organisation has aimed to position itself as an innovative company and Richard explained that they achieve that by carrying out a number of initiatives.  Examples he gave include:

  1. Selling tickets on board Virgin Airlines via their onboard wifi
  2. Multilingual baggage hall screens giving information to travellers before they make their trip into Central London using live data from TomTom, for example, to compare journey times. These are currently offered in seven languages, which coincide with the flights as they have landed
  3. On board 4G and WiFi

Of course, 2018 also sees the opening of the Elizabeth Line, the section of Crossrail from Paddington to Heathrow but at the moment, Richard felt that Heathrow Express can’t speculate what kind of impact that might have on them.  What he did add though, was that Heathrow Express forms a key part of the overall airport strategy, where by 2030, they are looking to get 50% of people, travelling to and from the airport on public transport.

For further information on the Heathrow Express Business Travel Report and about Heathrow Express in general, visit heathrowexpress.com

 

The rest of the show notes will be uploaded soon.

 

All previous shows of the series are available on this website as well as SoundcloudiTunesTuneIn and Stitcher.  There is also a growing community on Facebook and Twitter, where you can get involved in the discussion.  Finally, if you subscribe to the show, please can you give it a positive rating and review on iTunes in particular as this helps it up the charts!

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