Airtours has renamed itself MyTravel in an attempt to increase customer retention rates and "kick travel retailing into the 21st century". If shareholders approve, Airtours will fold its retail, telephone and e-commerce channels, which currently operate under different names, into the new corporate brand.
The group's cruise ships and aircraft will also carry the MyTravel name, although tour operators with well-established brands such as Airtours Holidays will not be renamed. Airtours believes the single brand will attract more customers while also giving it more information to retain those customers by personalising holiday products.
Airtours chairman David Crossland said: "The idea is the same as having 1.5 million corner shops, each with 100 customers, where the shop knows each customer and what they like and don't like."
The group has cut 1,600 jobs since the attacks in America and unveiled a 57% jump in full-year operating profits to a record $208 million. Sales rose 15% to $7.2 billion. At the pre-tax level profits slumped 62% to $298 million, although the preceding year's figures were distorted by a $209 million one-off gain.
Although winter bookings are down 7% in Britain, Airtours expects to recoup these losses in the summer through heavy advertising, reducing the number of holidays available and continued cost-cutting.