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Aerotravel to boost number of charters

Aerotravel to boost number of charters
10.04.2006, 00:00 15

Aerotravel, one of the top five travel agencies, estimates revenues from the sale of holiday packages will come to account for 20% of turnover.

Antonio Nitu, 35, has been running Aerotravel Lufthansa City Center travel agency since 1999. Before, he worked with Dac Air and Tarom.

"Bucharest is traditionally the most important market. It is the capital city, with the highest number of offers. But the potential assessed in terms of number of inhabitants shows us we are targeting a percentage of less than 10% of Romania''s total population," explains Nitu. He says the agency plans to offer packages in all the important regions of Romania and the first provincial city the company targeted was Cluj.

The Aerotravel official says the agency will operate six weekly charters having Greece as a destination, to locations such as Halkidiki, Skiathos and Evia islands. "This year, we will operate six flights per week, all having Greece as a destination, from Bucharest (to Salonika and Volos) and from Cluj and Bacau to Salonika. The total capacity we are "throwing" onto the market is of more than 8,000 seats," says the Aerotravel representative.

Nitu estimates leisure travel, that is packages of services related to holidays, will bring around 5 million euros to Aerotravel''s accounts this year. In 2005, the company derived only 2.5 million euros from leisure travel. Aerotravel''s budget for this year amounts to 23 million euros.

Until two years ago, the company''s portfolio only included business travel, especially ticket sales to businesspeople. Aerotravel entered the leisure travel segment in 2004, when it started operating charter flights. Nitu says the new packages are not addressing only individual tourists, but also corporate clients.

"Since our company started with business travel, we cannot overlook the possible interest that our holiday offers might spur among the firms working with our business travel unit," says Nitu. He also specified the agency would levy different tariffs for packages destined to companies.

Given Romania''s upcoming integration into the European Union, an increasing number of companies have set up subsidiaries here, which has generated a growing inflow of businesspeople to Romania over the recent years.

This market segment has been highly profitable for travel agencies, with many of these companies considering business travel as the main growth engine for their business.

Many players decided to specialise on a certain segment of packages, which had so far included both business travel and leisure travel. Others, though, have taken a risk, deciding to enter fields they hadn''t been acquainted with until recently, a strategy not included in the initial business plan.



Aerotravel

* One of the top five travel agencies

* Plans to offer holiday packages in all the important regions of Romania

* Will operate six weekly charters having Greece as a destination

* Leisure travel estimated to bring around 5m euros to the company''s accounts, up from 2.5m euros last year

* Aerotravel''s budget for this year - 23m euros

* Entered the leisure travel segment in 2004

* Registered turnover worth 19.5m euros in 2005

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