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Former Rangers directors launch holiday company

by Staff

James and Sandy Easdale have launched a holidays business (Image: McGill’s Group)

Former Rangers directors Sandy and James Easdale have launched a coach holiday venture through their McGill’s Group.

The wholly owned subsidiary of McGill’s will be called Loch Lomond Travel. It will be headed by managing director Chris Bond, who has previously held senior executive positions at Caledonian Travel, Barrhead Travel and Tartan Travel.

Greenock-based McGill’s Group said: “Loch Lomond Travel will provide coach holidays to resorts and attractions all around the UK, working in partnership with quality hotels and destinations to create the best experiences for customers of all ages.”

It revealed that 25 new touring coaches are “due for imminent delivery” for exclusive use by Loch Lomond Travel, while the new venture will also be able to call upon the 100-plus coaches of its sister companies in the McGill’s Group.

The inaugural 2024 brochure will be launched at the end of February, including tours titled North Coast 500, Lewis and Harris, In Search of the Northern Lights, and The Greatest Railway Journey in the World on the Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig.

McGill’s Group said: “Chris and his experienced team will work alongside McGill’s Group CEO Ralph Roberts to build and develop the business in 2024 and beyond.”

Mr Roberts said: “There is undoubtedly a demand for high quality, great value coach holidays and we are delighted to be launching Loch Lomond Travel to cater for that.

“McGill’s Group is ideally placed to venture into this market, with its extensive knowledge in coach operations, a quality fleet already in place, plus the backing of Sandy and James Easdale, who can see the potential that exists to build a trusted brand.”

He added: “We’ve built a great and experienced team under Chris, all of whom know what holidaymakers are looking for in a UK break. The pandemic was a tough period for coach holiday operators but that has created an opportunity that we are sure Loch Lomond Travel will fill.”

Mr Bond said: “A lot of work has gone into launching Loch Lomond Travel, making sure we have the right partnerships with the very best hotels and destinations that people want to visit. Our inaugural 2024 brochure highlights the great places that we will serve but we are very clear that this is only the start. The business will have its roots in Scotland but we have ambitions to drive growth and eventually serve the whole of the UK.

“We will also be working with agents in the coming months to increase the reach of the business as we grow and ensure our holidays are available to the widest number of people possible.”

He added: “The backing of McGill’s Group, Sandy, James and Ralph has been fantastic so far, and we can’t wait for the arrival of 25 new luxury coaches to add to the extensive coach fleet we already have access to.

“It is an exciting time to be entering this market and we have an emphasis on serving holidaymakers of all ages, which we expect to be of real appeal for those planning a getaway in the months and years to come.”

In recent years, McGill’s Group has acquired Xplore Dundee from National Express and also mounted a takeover of First Scotland East.

It also has a partnership with FlixBus, facilitating the German operator’s international long-distance operations in Scotland and England.

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