I hope you, your families, friends and colleagues are safe and well during these difficult and extraordinary times.
Here at Clarity, we’re doing everything we can to service the needs of our clients and ensure the business is in great health for the future.
To that end, as you’ll already be aware, we have utilised the government’s job retention scheme to better manage our cost base at a time of vastly reduced demand, this has helped the business retain cash whilst ensuring our service levels remain consistently high for the demand we do have. I’m pleased to say that everything has gone to plan and we have seen no interruption in our service as this transition has been made.
In addition to the cost-saving work we have done, we have also worked to further solidify our funding position, driving cash into the business, and securing more headroom on facilities with our lenders. The business is in even better shape to ride out the current challenges than we were a couple of weeks ago, so you should be assured that Clarity are financially strong and sustainable even in these exceptional times.
I’m sure that in your own organisations you are also working hard to conserve and generate cash and ensure the long-term health of your business. With that in mind, we thought it important that we update you on progress we have made with our airline partners to secure refunds for cancelled flights over the last few and coming few weeks.
You may have read in the press that airlines are often reluctant to allow cancellations and in fact are pushing customers in both corporate and leisure markets to accept vouchers or amendments. We have been relatively successful in securing refunds in two thirds of cases and where that has happened, we have, without delay, processed refunds to our customers.
In other cases, however, some of our airline partners are insisting on vouchers or amendments and we are working hard to resolve that situation in a number of ways.
First of all, we are insisting, wherever possible, that the airline refunds instead. We will continue to fight this battle on your behalf. As a secondary consideration, we will encourage airlines to issue vouchers in the name of your organisation and not that of the individual traveller. This will make the using of that credit in the future easier.
It is an industry-wide challenge and I attach for your information an open letter from the Business Travel Association (BTA) to IATA outlining how the industry would like airlines to work where vouchers are employed.
The processing of refunds is a very labour intensive process however over the last few weeks Clarity has been able to secure around two thirds of the refunds due in a very short period of time and we are in the process of passing these back to our clients.
Whilst I know that this can be frustrating, I want to assure you that we at Clarity are doing everything we can to get a positive outcome wherever possible and will continue to do so.
We’re still here to help you with any travel or events related challenges, so please get in touch if you need our support.
We hope you remain safe and well during this difficult time.
Pat Mcdonagh, CEO