Fledgling business on the up as sales improve
Spanish airline Air Europa is to strengthen its UK team as sales and traffic on its new London route continue to improve.
Colin Stewart, Air Europa's UK general manager, said his three-man commercial team was stretched and would need to grow in order to target both business and leisure customers.
Mr Steward told ABTN his ultimate goal would be to follow the example set by other Air Europa offices which have grown their teams in line with demand.
"They have people focusing on business, people focusing on leisure and others focusing on groups. That's ultimately where I want to go, but that will take time and we're monitoring that," Mr Stewart said.
Mr Stewart said that he was also looking to move the team's headquarters in the coming months though nothing has yet been confirmed.
He said the team would naturally be reviewed during this "period of transition".
Month-on-month sales on the London Gatwick-Madrid route have improved since it began in March this year.
But Mr Stewart admitted that the winter months ahead would be hard for Air Europa, Spain's second largest airline, and the industry as a whole.
He said: "I do see sales continuing on this trend. Yes it's going to be a difficult winter, October and November, but we're working hard with the travel agents to really drive sales through that difficult period.
"As the business grows and as the sales increase then we'll need to look at expanding the team for it to focus on certain areas."
Mr Stewart said as the UK business improves Air Europa would continue to review new London routes based on feedback from its customer and travel agencies.
But Mr Stewart said his current focus over the next six to 12 months would be to improve market awareness of the London to Madrid route.
The route is served by a 122-seat Embraer 195. But as load factors improve Air Europa has recently started to use higher capacity B737-800s.