McErlean axed as Airtours reponds to travel decline

Package holiday giant Airtours has made its top PRO redundant in a

cost-cutting response to the world travel market slump since 11

September.



Group communications director Anita McErlean was informed of the

decision by finance director David Jardine late last week.



She is understood to be in talks with the company about possible

redeployment, having worked in sales and operational roles there for

more than eight years. But the company is shedding up to 400 UK jobs in

what a spokeswoman described as 'inevitable belt-tightening'. McErlean

is the only PR casualty.



Corporate relations head Helen Stevenson Bulloch said confusion over the

name of the listed entity and its subsidiaries had played a part in the

decision to merge three teams into one.



Airtours Holidays and Airtours International - the package tours and

airline respectively - along with the quoted Airtours plc, all had

separate PR teams.



One central function will now see Stevenson Bulloch in one of three

joint top jobs alongside soon-to-be-appointed heads of media relations

and public affairs. All three will report to Jardine.



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