IN PERSON: Adam Harris head of marketing and sales (UK), Buzz

The C%26I industry may not have rushed to take advantage of the cut price fares offered by the low cost carriers, but Buzz head of marketing and sales Adam Harris sees no reason why not. It is simply a question of weaning it off its traditional ties.

"A lot of group travel is built around historical alliances, he says.

"It takes time to change habits but the industry is beginning to recognise the breadth of destinations that budget airlines cover. We provide good service and a quality product and, in essence, customers are getting what they would get with a big-name airline but a lot cheaper."

No frills means that travellers pay extra for food, but Harris contends that the in-flight sustenance provided by Buzz is as good, sometimes better, than that provided by bigger carriers. "We charge for food but do you want to pay £100 more for a ticket with a major carrier and get as much coffee as you can drink and a sandwich you cannot choose?" he asks. "Or would you rather pay 50% less for a ticket, plus £1.50 for a cafetiere of coffee and a choice of sandwiches or salads? Our service stacks up against any other airline. We just package it differently."

Harris also feels the C&I sector could benefit from the range of destinations that budget carriers serve. "Business in the industry has been built around certain destinations but now there are flights to numerous smaller airports and this is opening up the surrounding regions."

He chooses Deauville as a case in point. Served by Rouen and Caen airports, Harris feels the area is ripe for discovery by the meetings market. "There are some magnificent hotels there that do huge business within France, he says. "And it is a high class area with casinos, race tracks and much more, but the best way to get there has always been by ferry, or by air to Paris and then TGV. Now visitors can fly to within an hour's drive."

In terms of carriers, Harris sees the low-cost carriers fall into two camps, EasyJet and Ryanair, Buzz and Go, - although no one knows for certain what, if anything, EasyJet plans for Go. "Ryanair and EasyJet are direct-sell operations and do not work much with the travel trade. They are not prepared to change their service or provide a discrete offering, he says. "However, Buzz and Go combine low cost and high quality with allocated seating, hand luggage-only check-in and, in our case, access to an executive lounge for £5.

"We don't have group check-in because the procedure is quick, but we do have a group-booking facility, says Harris. "The biggest advantage of using a low-cost carrier is that there are no tickets, so administration is cut to almost zero."

Predicted growth in the market is huge. "Salomon Smith Barney forecasts 25% medium-term annual growth and 15% long term, says Harris. Despite this, he does not think this sector will take over from traditional carriers.

"It is possible, but I doubt it, he says. "There is a role for both. Traditional carriers work more actively with the travel trade and have long standing relationships, and we want to be part of that. The C&I market is an opportunity for us."

He adds that low-cost carriers are well placed to service both meeting and incentive groups. "When a company puts together an incentive, why should they spend more on flights than on being at the destination for a week? Why not save as much money as possible on transport and spend it there, or put it on the bottom line?"

He points out that organisers could save up to 50% on the cost of a flight by using a low-cost carrier. "If they save £100-£200 on every flight, it could amount to £30,000 over a year - and they don't have to compromise on quality. It is a persuasive argument.

HARRIS ON ...

... his most inspirational person

"The person I admire most is Eddie Jordan. I'm not a huge motor racing fan but he has said 'this is my dream' and he had the desire, the confidence and the guts to go out and make that dream a reality. This is truly inspirational and puts a lot of us to shame."

... his dream career

"I'd love to be commercial director of Liverpool Football club. I have been a fan since I was a child and it would be fascinating and great fun to work with them. I live in the south at the moment, but eventually ...?"

... his best business moment

"It was getting this job. I had been working on Tango for Britvic and had been there since I graduated. Buzz approached me to join the airline six months after the launch. As soon as I had talked to chief commercial officer Tony Camacho, I wanted the job."

... his favourite destination

"Toulon. It is a unique airport - you fly in, walk out the other side, cross the road and you are on the beach. The area is beautiful and the weather is lovely. It opens up St Tropez Bay, which is attractive, quiet and pretty reasonably priced."

CAREER FILE
2000
Head of marketing and sales (UK), Buzz
1998
Senior brand manager Tango, Britvic Soft Drinks
1994
Bass management training scheme, Britvic Soft Drinks
1990
Studied Psychology at University of Newcastle on Tyne

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

Cancellations and deferrals: How global agencies are reacting to coronavirus

As IBTM APAC gets postponed, agencies tell C&IT what they are doing to meet the challenges posed by the outbreak.

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

IBTM APAC 2020 postponed over coronavirus

Organisers have postponed the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

How are incentive budgets changing in 2020?

Budgets increases come despite fears over economic uncertainty, according to the State of the Industry 2020: Incentives report.

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

MGM Resorts takes action over massive data hack

More than 10.6million guests have had their data leaked after the cyber attack, according to reports.

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

APAC planners still 'use manual processes' for most of their tasks

Australian and New Zealander event planners need a more technology-driven approach, according to new research by Cvent.

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

DICE launched to improve diversity at conferences and events

New charter aims to eliminate 'manels' and offers guidelines for making events more diverse, on and off stage.

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Are experiential food and drink incentives on the rise?

Planners reveal what food and drink experiences clients are increasingly requesting, in the C&IT State of the Industry: Incentives report.

World’s most popular destinations for business travel revealed

World’s most popular destinations for business travel revealed

New research draws on official government flight data to reveal locations most popular with UK business travellers going overseas in the last year.

Top agencies speak out amid warnings the coronavirus response came ‘too late’

Top agencies speak out amid warnings the coronavirus response came ‘too late’

With reports that another key congress may be cancelled, agencies explain how they have been taking stock.

Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon-neutral airline

Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon-neutral airline

The airline makes 10-year commitment to mitigate all emissions from March 2020.

LATEST JOBS