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BTC Urges Industry Action on Airline Cuts

July 9, 2008 By: George Dooley

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has launched a new website to inform and educate the travel industry on the current crisis in the airline industry and to urge congressional action on key issues, Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the group, told Travel Agent.

Airline capacity cuts will impact scores of communities and Congress should hear from the public and the industry impacted by them,” he said. Major carriers have already announced cuts up to 10 percent by year-end and more are expected.

The new website at BTC Travel Central includes two links:, focused on encouraging agents and corporations impacted by local and regional capacity cuts; and soon to be launched, a site that will focus on broader airline and energy policy issues. “My hope is to create a rallying point for the industry," Mitchell said.

“The travel industry’s future is clearly at stake, “ he continued. “ It’s essential that the industry— both the big name corporate players and the rank and file—all work together to get effective action. This includes a rational solution to the airline fuel cost crisis and a coherent national energy policy.”

The new BTC Travel Central site offers information on the crisis, including Mitchell’s recent congressional testimony, as well as media and blog resources. Both the Airport and Airline Industry sites offer convenient links to members of Congress. “The private sector must stand up and be counted," Mitchell said.

Mitchell is also encouraging constructive comments and input on the airline industry’s problems and possible solutions that should be considered. “We hope to generate interest from all sectors of the industry, including the airlines, hotels, destinations, tour operators, agents, cruise lines and more,” he said.

He welcomes BTC members as well as travelers and industry executives. There are RSS feeds and access to top aviation and travel writers. All content is mobile phone formatted. Included are productivity tools that Mitchell believes will prove useful.

BTC’s advocacy role is underscored with online access to BTC’s policy statements. Visitors can also get updated on current global distribution systems (GDS) and European Union issues.

Founded in 1994, the BTC's mission is to bring transparency to industry and government policies and practices so that stakeholders can influence issues of strategic importance to their organizations. There is no charge for access to the BTC site. The members only site is password protected.

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