‘Adapt & Survive’ Skype video series: Jonathan Pollard, CCO, Luton Airport

By Luke Barras-hill |

ADAPT AND SURVIVE Jonathan Pollard - 460x306Clarity is required from the UK government on proposed quarantine measures to shape preparedness and contingency planning for commercial operations, according to London Luton Airport’s (LLA) Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Pollard [see below video].

The air transport sector is waiting with bated breath on more detail and guidance from Whitehall concerning a suggested 14-day isolation period for UK arrivals (excluding those travellers from France and Ireland), a move which has attracted criticism from travel and tourism quarters.

Due to the current uncertainty, LLA is considering a range of scenarios dependent on the quarantine duration and markets affected.

TAKING THE POSITIVES

Pollard spoke to TRBusiness at a timely moment following the resumption of Wizz Air flights at LLA earlier this month and news that Ryanair is looking to restore 40% of its existing flight network by 1 July.

Aside from a brief period in April when LLA served no commercial flights, the terminal has remained open. However, shops and restaurants remain closed.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Pollard touched on the capacity challenges to airports presented by enforced social distancing protocols and how travel retailers can foster confidence among travellers to spend when the recovery begins.

Importantly, he also spoke about the positives that can be gleaned from the current situation, including retail opportunities afforded by digital solutions.

“We are already looking at how we are going to have to adapt the retail estate as we are expecting very different behaviours from our customers,” he said.

“What has surprised me is how quickly the situation has changed – In February looking at the potential impact on maybe one or two other markets alongside Italy, to fast forward to where we are now: a global pandemic that has effectively grounded global aviation and has really been quite challenging.

“We’ve been working very closely with our business partners to help them through the difficult position that we’re in now, but also to be mindful that as we come out of this very challenging situation, it’s going to be really important that we work alongside these partners.”

Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.

To register your interest in the Adapt and Survive series, please contact one of the editorial team at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected].

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