Fleet News

Terror alert is a chance to learn

THE recent terror alert has highlighted the need for companies to have contingency plans for disruptions to travel – and could give firms the opportunity to investigate more efficient ways of doing business.

With many fleet managers now responsible for organising all types of business travel, including car rental and flight bookings, they are being advised to ensure they have a back-up strategy, which could also reap rewards in time and financial savings.

Airports across Britain nearly shuddered to a halt as the Government raised the nation’s security level to its highest state in the wake of the police’s foiling of the alleged terrorist attack.

A spokesman for ACFO, the fleet operators’ association, said there were opportunities among the disruption, allowing firms to look at new technology such as video-conferencing and putting the spotlight on unnecessary journeys.

He added: ‘If you managed to get by during the alerts without meetings that you were unable to get to, could you survive without those meetings generally? The biggest benefit of this situation is the wake-up call to people not to just keep doing what they have always done. There could be opportunities for lessons to be learned.’

Meanwhile, the terror alerts are likely to have an effect on the British rental industry. John Lewis, director general of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), said the disruption would reduce the number of foreign tourists rent-ing cars, but was unlikely to be seriously detrimental.

‘Transatlantic travel is prime business for the rental industry at this time of year, but some people will say they’re not going to travel,’ Lewis said.

‘There’s no evidence to suggest at the moment that it’s sufficient to have any pricing impact.’

John Leigh, senior vice-president of Vanguard Rental, which operates National, Alamo and Guy Salmon, said: ‘It is too soon to say how the current situation in the UK will impact on inbound daily rental business. However, our branches at the airports were very busy last Thursday.’

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