Call us on: 020 8920 1155

Managers message

WOW!!

 

For many of us, 2020 has been a year to forget and I’m sure I speak for everybody in hoping for a better, healthier and safer 2021.

 

I think it would be remiss of me to just skirt over the Crisis that Coronavirus has caused and the effect it has had on Newmont Travel and its customers.

 

I have to say, the patience and goodwill shown by the vast majority of our clients to our staff during this period has been fantastic. We have fully understood the frustration and difficulty the delay by the airlines in refunding tickets has caused. The travel agency community has most probably been the hardest hit business sector as we were not in a position as many companies to just being close down. We had to stay open to help clients rebook, deal with their cancellations and refunds and also the huge task of repatriating clients to the UK. All this had to be done during a period where we had little if any income coming in from New bookings.

 

The task was made doubly difficult by the already mentioned delay by the airlines in refunding cancelled tickets. This task has engulfed our admin team for 9 months. They have tirelessly and relentlessly been constantly on the phones daily to the airlines and still continue to do so. To alleviate the problem, Newmont Travel embarked on a refund programme before receiving the funds back from the airline. However, this could only be done while our own funds allowed.

 

I am pleased to say that 95% of passengers have now been refunded and we are now mopping up those bookings that are not so straightforward.

 

2020 has also presented us with ongoing BREXIT situation as well as the suspension of flying of LIAT. We wait to see if they rise like the Phoenix. In the meantime we are using other airlines such as Caribbean Airlines and Inter Caribbean to name but a few.

 

So what does 2021 hold for us all. The release of the vaccines has seen a surge of bookings. It is clear that there is still an appetite to visit friends, relatives and holiday in the Caribbean. The Caribbean has been identified as one of the most open regions to holiday in for 2021 and while this is good for the prospects of holidays going ahead it does mean that their will be a heavy demand for seats.

 

We are already seeing strong demand for the key school holiday dates as well as the various Island Independence dates. The January booking period is the best time to take advantage of the best fares and availability and bookings can be made up to eleven and a half months in advance of travel.

 

Another thing to look forward to in 2021 is the introduction of a direct service on Virgin Atlantic to St Vincent. These flights start in June and their release has been greeted with great excitement and anticipation for the Vincentian community.

 

At the time of writing, our Shepherds Bush office remains closed due to Government restrictions. The office has been refurbished, made Covid friendly and we can’t wait to reopen. However, when we do, I’m sure it will be with some restrictions. We will let you all know when the reopening date is.

 

Unfortunately, during the lockdown period, the lease on our Dalston office expired. We were made aware that the Kingsland Shopping Centre is planning to be demolished and redeveloped and therefore it was decided not to renew the lease. This was done with great regret and we hope to return to Dalston once a suitable premises is found.

 

Our reservations team are currently all working from home and your calls will go directly to them. As with every year, the January, February booking period is very busy and their may be a delay in answering your calls. We are here and we will get to your calls as soon as possible. In years gone by, many clients have complained about the extensive waiting times. Therefore, this year we have made a few changes to our phone system. We are limiting the amount of clients that will be put on hold so that you don’t have to wait too long. Once the hold limit has been reached you will get an engaged tone and we would kindly ask that you try us again.

 

We have also upgraded our website so that more people can access it and we are also giving clients who book online the added benefit of a reduced deposit where applicable.

 

The website is also a good place for information gathering and we will continue with our Coronavirus Updates and access to the regions entry protocols.

 

Our hotels can also be found on www.newmont.co.uk as well as its own dedicated website www.hotelsofthecaribbean.co.uk and we still have our Holy Land product available on www.holylandtravel.co.uk.

 

I sincerely hope we can all emerge from 2020 safe and well and continue to do so in 2021 and therefore on behalf of all the staff at Newmont Travel:

 

We wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

 

Glenn Shaw

Managing Director