Helios calls in ex-TUI chief after air disaster

Helios Airways has called in the former PR chief of holiday giant TUI to advise on crisis comms following last Sunday's plane crash in Greece.

Sonia Davies is advising Helios on international media handling after the disaster in which a plane flying from Larnaca to Athens plunged into a hillside, claiming the lives of all 121 people on board.

The operator is now dealing with enquiries into the crash and its longer-term safety record, while preparing for a lengthy investigation by the authorities.

It is under pressure to supply an explanation to grieving relatives, while reassuring those scheduled to fly on its other aircraft.

Davies - made redundant from her job as TUI UK comms director last year - is working alongside Helios' Cyprus-based sales and marketing manager Nicos Anastassiades on the airline's crisis response.

She was called in on Monday morning to handle international media enquiries from London, while Anastassiades is handling Cypriot and Greek media.

'This is a major tragedy,' said Davies. 'Helios felt it needed more support in the UK - I have been advising them, drafting press releases and acting as a point of contact for the media.'

Since leaving TUI, Davies has been working on a freelance basis for AS Biss & Co, while also working for other undisclosed travel clients. Prior to TUI she worked for travel PR specialist BGB.

Helios is also advised by Nicosia-based agency Marketway. TMM handles its consumer PR in the UK.

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