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BA continues training travel agency staff to meet new challenges



Winner of the first place Shyani Wijayathilake of American Express Travels receives her Special Award from Joe Rajadurai, British Airways Manager - Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The second British Airways training course on fares and ticketing conducted by Ravi Widyalankara, Deputy General Manage,r Air Global Ltd., General Sales Agents for British Airways in Sri Lanka, was concluded recently.

Speaking at the awards ceremony Joe Rajadurai, British Airways Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said: "We felt the need to organise this course, particularly with BSP coming in, in July or later this year. A lack of qualified staff in travel agencies is another reason since we are in a period of change and can expect exciting times ahead!"

Rajadurai confirmed that training on computer based fares and a course on customer services tailor-made for Colombo would be conducted in the future. "This is a commitment that British Airways is giving the travel agents in Sri Lanka," he said.

Chief Guest at the awards ceremony N. Prabaharan, Senior Manager Commercial (Operations), SriLankan Airlines said: "We are in an industry where a lot of inventions are introduced on a regular basis, such as the British Airways flat bed which was invented by a yacht designer."

He explained that E-tickets are one such invention and with BSP coming in to Sri Lanka, he predicted that by 2007 paper tickets will become obsolete. "A passenger need not come to the counter. There will be no such thing as a lost ticket as it will be a virtual ticket - these are the new conveniences in the new world being transferred to our industry as well," he said.

"But in our part of the world front line formalities are still important, and that is why training has to be continually upgraded".

Awards were presented to the top three students. First place went to Shyani Wijayathilake of American Express Travels. Waseem Thajudeen of American Express Travels was in second place while Thasneem Hussain of Superlink Travels came in third place. Nilukshi Philips of Jetwing Travels was adjudged the Best Alround student while the best Student in Pre-examination Assignments was Thasneem Hussian.

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