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Expert’s vlog, Part 1 of 5: Teaming up for thoughtful responses to market volatility

8 May 2020
atpco chris phillips

How can the world’s airlines and channels find help from ATPCO to cope with today’s situation? Here are some insights from ATPCO’s Head of Global Accounts Chris Phillips.

Welcome to the first episode of the five-part series, where you will hear from our regional industry experts on handling the effects of the pandemic.

In this interview you will learn about three areas where you and ATPCO can work together to help overcome global market volatility. 
 


Transcript

Welcome to the expert's vlog series, COVID-19 edition and virtual edition, where we interview ATPCO experts for their unique perspective on industry challenges. 

I'm Andrea Bonaiuto, ATPCO vlog host sitting in New York City, and with me today is Chris Phillips, Head of Global Accounts at ATPCO, calling in from London. 

Welcome, Chris. 

Thank you, Andrea. 

Chris, we'll jump right in. What is ATPCO's current focus and role in this crisis? 

I'd say right now we've got three areas of focus. 

I think the first one is really around reliability. The industry is relying on ATPCO to collect and distribute their fares and ancillary services accurately and on time, despite the reduced capacity and lower load factors that they're experiencing right now. ATPCO is actually seeing record volumes of filing activity, and despite these record volumes, we've been able to maintain a 99.9 percent operational reliability, ensuring that the marketplace can have trust and confidence in the network. 

The second area that we've really been focused on is around business continuity. We've redefined all of our product development plans, and re-prioritized our workflows, to ensure that we're providing the services that our partners are expecting from us right now, ensuring that we are ready and able to serve whatever possible needs they may have on the network. 

And finally, what we're preparing to do is assist the industry with recovery. We don't know exactly when or how that's going to look, but we're ensuring that our teams are prepared to offer the types of services they've expected from ATPCO in the past. 

Very good. And now ATPCO is working with over 400 airlines and over 100 channels who are all impacted by COVID-19. Can you please share what is the industry collaboration like during this time? 

The level of collaboration has really been remarkable. Being an airline-owned entity allows us to reach across all the partners in the supply chain to find solutions to help solve our partners' problems. And a couple of the examples we've been able to deliver so far include first of all, something we call Reassurance UPAs. This is unique content that we've been able to create for over 90 airlines to help tell a story with visual aids about what they've been doing around the cleanliness of their airplanes, as well as how they've been changing their ticketing and travel policies as this crisis has developed. This has helped increase the customer confidence in what the airlines are communicating. 

The second thing we've been able to do is partner with our friends at IATA to work on ticket validity and automated relaxed conditions around existing tickets. This is not something that we've been able to do in the past, but we've been able to work through a number of technical and policy challenges to help enable this much-needed flexibility. 

That's fantastic. And, Chris, as an industry veteran with decades of experience, you would probably agree that these times are unlike any the industry has ever seen before. Do you have any advice or thoughts for your industry colleagues? 

Well, I can share the advice that I've shared with some of our team. We don't have a crystal ball of where this is all going to play out in the end, but the first thing we need to ensure that we're doing is that we're staying safe. We're taking care of our family, our teammates. We're ensuring that we're focused on the things that we can control. There's a lot of distractions out there. 

We're dealing with things that are well beyond our ability to influence them, but if we continue to stay focused on the things we control, we prioritize, execute on the areas of the industry that we play a role in, we're going to effectively work our way out of this and get back to a very vibrant travel marketplace. 

I totally agree. Thank you so much, Chris. 

And to everyone watching, we love to stay connected. Please reach out to us with any questions, and visit ATPCO's Customer Center for more learning resources. Stay tuned for the next episode, and of course, stay safe. 

By Chris Phillips

Head of Global Accounts

Chris joined ATPCO in October 2019, bringing over 25 years of commercial airline and consulting experience. His background in developing and implementing commercial strategies that drive revenue growth, optimize cost, and expand margins complements the emerging airline retail model enabled by ATPCO. Chris brings his passion for helping the travel industry de-commoditize its retail model to his new role. Before joining ATPCO, Chris held leadership positions at Delta Air Lines and Four Corners Consulting Group.