The industry reacts after head of the British monarchy passed away yesterday at Balmoral
Tributes paid to HM Queen Elizabeth by travel companies
Airlines, airports, agents, cruise lines, industry bodies and many others from across the travel and tourism sector have paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen, who passed away at Balmoral in Scotland yesterday afternoon (September 8). The Queen's state funeral is expected to take place at Westminster Abbey in less than two weeks, with the exact day to be confirmed by Buckingham Palace. King Charles III, who became the new monarch immediately, said his mother's death was a moment of "greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”. He is expected to address the nation today at the start of a period of national mourning. The national flag-carrier British Airways said: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Her Majesty the Queen. "At this terribly sad time, our thoughts are with the entire British Royal Family and the nation, as we grieve her immeasurable loss. "We are deeply honoured and proud to have flown Her Majesty on a number of occasion, moments which we will always cherish. "Her Majesty has for so long shown immense resilience and encouraged us to stand together with the United Kingdom, to thank her for her service and bid her a final farewell." Heathrow airport's statement also said its staff were saddened to hear that the Queen has passed away. "We offer our condolences to the Royal Family and the British public at this time," it said in a tweet, with a picture of her at the airport.
A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We're thankful to have shared many key milestones with Queen Elizabeth II during her life, including welcoming her warmly in 1952 when she arrived back from Kenya as our Queen. The world has lost an irreplaceable person and our country, one of its greatest.” The new transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Twitter: "My whole life has been filled with Queen Elizabeth II, a woman of such extraordinary courage and optimism, always radiant and loving, a beacon to us all on what resilience and devotion to duty looks like every single day. Her death is heartbreaking. May she rest in peace." The Civil Aviation Authority also expressed its condolences and tweeted a picture of the Queen in her younger days boarding a flight.
Agency tributes Gemma Antrobus (Haslemere Travel), chair of Aito Agents, commented: "May she rest in peace! Thank you for your unwavering service and your wonderful wit! You have given so much and we are eternally grateful." Flight Centre UK described her as a "global ambassador and uniting force for communities worldwide". "We are grateful for her impact and pay tribute to the journeys of discovery that have inspired us to explore the world with openness and tolerance. Thank you for your service, Your Majesty," added the agency's statement. Travel Counsellors said: "It is with profound sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family. We are deeply grateful for her service to the nation over so many years and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Royal Family." Midcounties Co-op said on Twitter: "Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the Royal Family as we join those across the world in mourning the loss of Her Majesty The Queen." Aviation tributes Virgin Atlantic's statement said: "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was an extraordinary figurehead, flying the flag for the United Kingdom around the world during a reign like no other. Rest in peace, Your Majesty." EasyJet's tweet said: "Everyone at easyJet is truly saddened by the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. We join all those paying tribute to her and her lifetime of service to the UK and beyond." Glasgow airport tweeted on behalf of AGS Airports, the parent of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports, saying: "Everyone at AGS Airports Ltd sends their deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen." Other airports such as Gatwick and Cardiff also issued statements in tribute, expressing sadness at her passing. A statement from the pilots' union, Balpa, said: "The queen was our sovereign for more than half the time humans have been flying. She had a unique view of the world and truly valued global connectivity. Balpa joins with others around the world in thanks for her service." Travel bodies and operators National tourist boards VisitBritain and VisitEngland both said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen and our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Royal family at this time." Julia Simpson, World Travel and Tourism Council president and chief executive, said: “WTTC, its members and the global travel and tourism community are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. “The Queen has been the most incredible force for good. She won the hearts and respect of people and nations around the world. “Our sincere condolences to the Royal Family and our heartfelt tribute to Her Majesty the Queen for a lifetime of devotion and dedicated service.” Abta posted a message on its website, saying: "The extremely sad news of death of Her Majesty The Queen marks the end of a long and glorious reign.
The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, the union for people in transport and travel, expressed "deepest condolences to her family, friends, the country and those affected by her passing". It added: "TSSA is cancelling planned industrial action for September and will be respecting the period of public mourning. The union pays respect to Britain's longest serving monarch." Tui UK & Ireland said: “We would like to express our deep sorrow following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.” Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said the Queen had redefined leadership - living a "life of service, standing for the best of British values, providing grace and consistency in an ever-changing world". Eurostar said on LinkedIn: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of The Queen and our thoughts are with The Royal Family. We’re proud that The Queen was present at several key moments in our journey so far. Today, we’re sharing the fond memory of The Queen attending the launch of our very first train in May 1994." Travel communications specialist Lotus tweeted a picture of a young queen with Prince Philip boarding a BOAC flight. The company said: "LOTUS is saddened to hear of the loss of our truly remarkable monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She served with dignity & wisdom and will be greatly missed. She showed us how travel boosts our understanding and empathy of people from other nations and we champion this legacy."
Cruise tributes Industry body Clia UK & Ireland said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a wonderful ambassador for cruise and our thoughts are with her family at this time." P&O Cruises had two ships named by the Queen. The company said: “P&O Cruises and its staff both ashore and at sea express deep regret at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Majesty will always be remembered at P&O Cruises not least for the fact that she named two of the company’s ships, Oriana and Britannia.” Sister brand Cunard said: “All at Cunard are deeply saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Majesty had a long association with the company Dating back to 1938 and included her naming four ships. For that Cunard will be forever grateful to The Queen.” Saga said: “It is with great sadness that we, the Saga family, extend our sincere condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty The Queen after a long and illustrious service to the country she so clearly loved. She will be missed by her people.” Picture credit: Shaun Jeffers/Shutterstock.com