Corporate travel round up of the month

Each month The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of the key news stories and information related to and from the corporate travel world.

CWT sees more opportunities outside Chinese tier one cities

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) China stated the One Belt One Road Initiative and the rise of China’s second and third tier cities are presenting new business opportunities for CWT (TTG MICE, 22-Mar-2018). CWT China GM Albert Zhong noted more privately owned companies and state owned enterprises are open to appointing international TMCs, adopting a multi vendor model, and integrating their respective system capabilities. “This development started about three years ago. Their estimated domestic and international air travel spend can be between USD300 and USD500 million annually, and when you add in hotel spend, the figure can be doubled,” he said, adding: “From a traffic perspective, 60 per cent of transactions are domestic and the rest international”. He added: “With more and more business penetration in tier-two and three cities like Chengdu, Dalian, Shenzhen and Nanjing, there will be more opportunities”.

Hawaiian Airlines: Leisure has proven to be more ‘resilient’ than business travel in economic downturns

Hawaiian Airlines CEO and president Peter Ingram agreed that “anything that’s bad for the global economy” is bad for the airline industry, although from Hawaiian’s standpoint “it’s a little bit more muted” due to its location in Honolulu and focus on the leisure market (CNBC, 16-Mar-2018). He noted leisure travel is continuing to grow and has “proven through economic downturns, in fact, to be more resilient than business travel”.

World Airways to offer two classes, also aims to target ’emerging’ demographic of business traveller

World Airways director of business development Adam Weiss, speaking on CAPA TV, stated (Mar-2018) the carrier plans to offer two classes in the beginning: economy and premium economy. World Airways does recognise the importance of the business traveller, Mr Weiss said, noting: “We need to differentiate to some extent in order to engage them”. The startup plans to target the small and medium business traveller, for whom it does not make sense to pay up to USD15,000 to travel to Asia and Europe when cheaper options exist. Mr Weiss said: “We think that’s a really emerging demographic and we need to cater to them”. World will primarily operate as an economy carrier, however.

Helloworld Travel purchases Flight Systems

Helloworld Travel announced (Mar-2018) the purchase of Flight Systems, a provider of web based flight booking technologies. Helloworld said the business is expected to generate a total transaction value of over AUD80 million (USD61.7 million) for FY2018. The purchase will be funded by existing cash reserves and the sale is expected to be completed by the end of Mar-2018. The company says the deal will strengthen the business technology suite in its corporate leisure activities.

Delta Global Sales introduces new direct corporate traveller messaging tools

Delta Global Sales launched (Mar-2018) a new suite of communications tools that aim to give corporate travellers “greater awareness” about the benefits they receive through their company’s corporate sales agreement with Delta. Delta also launched a communications cockpit tool on the Delta professional corporate travel site, allowing corporate travel managers to opt in to cobranded messaging sent directly to corporate travellers.

IATA notes some uptake in corporate travel buyers in favour of NDC

IATA new distribution capability (NDC) programme director Yanik Hoyles conceded there are “still a lot who are skeptical” in corporate travel regarding NDC. Mr Hoyles however stated new surveys show an uptake in corporate travel buyers in favour of NDC, from 11% to 30%. “What that demonstrates to us, the strategy we stated two years ago, to engage with the travel buyer community, makes sense”, he said, adding: “What we found is that these buyers, when you take the time to educate and engage them, they get it as much as they need to get”.

Scoot wants ‘to be in the TMC side of things’

Scoot head of sales and distribution Trevor Spinks, speaking at the CAPA Global LCC Summit, said (Mar-2018) “Of course we want to be in the TMC side of things” but added: “We’re not there yet”. He commented: “It’s time for Scoot to take that next leap”.

‘A lot of opportunity for LCCs’ in corporate travel: Carlson Wagonlit VP

Carlson Wagonlit Travel VP sales and programme management Michael Valkevich, speaking at the CAPA Global LCC Summit, said (Mar-2018) there is “a lot of opportunity for LCCs in the corporate travel space” with room for competition and room for growth. Mr Valkevich reported “a willingness to try different types of carriers” among corporate customers.