Corporate travel round up of the month

2 October, 2017

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

HRG promotes Bill Brindle to COO

Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) announced (25-Sep-2017) the promotion of Bill Brindle to the role of Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his current CIO responsibilities for Technology, Distribution and FinTech business Fraedom, Brindle takes on the day-to-day leadership of HRG Global Travel Management.

HNA Holdings updates on 'Very Substantial Acquisition' of CWT shares

HNA Holdings provided (22-Sep-2017) an update on its "very substantial acquisition" in relation to CWT shares. In relation to its formal offer for its privatisation for CWT Limited, HNA Holdings confirmed the total number of CWT Shares owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by the company and the valid acceptances to the offer, amount to an aggregate of 395,178,020 CWT shares, representing approximately 65.83% of the total issued CWT Shares.

Amadeus notes challenges to quantify RoI of business travel

Amadeus, via its official blog, stated (25-Sep-2017) business travel represents the second largest indirect expenditure for corporations worldwide. Amadeus however noted that quantifying the return on investment (RoI) of travel and expense (T&E) spend remains an unfulfilled aspiration for many companies. In a new study commissioned by Amadeus, entitled Managing Every Mile, it was noted that there are some specific opportunities to improve how T&E is managed. It was also noted that a simple IT enabled framework could maximise the benefits of T&E spending for both the company and the traveller.

Travelport negotiates for better corporate rates at 1000 hotels in 48 countries

Travelport announced (25-Sep-2017) 'corporate friendly' rates at 1000 hotels in 48 countries, under the Travelport Exclusive Rates programme. The offers are negotiated directly by Travelport with the hotel, providing agencies that may not be able to negotiate beneficial rates themselves the benefit of Travelport's scale. The programme primarily focus on main European cities, though also includes four and five star hotels in Asia, the US, Africa and Latin America.

SAP announces new release of SAP Hybris Commerce

SAP announced (19-Sep-2017) a new release of its SAP Hybris Commerce travel accelerator. With this travel specific commerce solution, SAP said airlines can maintain consistent pricing and promotions across channels – Web, mobile, kiosk, sales desk, on-board/in-flight, contact center and distribution. TUI Poland, China Express Airlines Company Limited and P&O Ferries are among the companies using SAP Hybris solutions.

Corporate customers find Southwest’s no fee policy attractive

Southwest Airlines MD business development David Harvey, speaking at CAPA's 2017 Latin America Aviation Summit, stated (11-Sep-2017) some elements of the airline's product corporate clients find attractive are no black out dates in its loyalty programme, no baggage fees and Southwest's policy of not charging change fees. Roughly 30% of Southwest's passengers travel for business, said Mr Harvey.

Hong Kong Airlines targets SMEs in long haul expansion

Hong Kong Airlines vice chairman Tang King Shing stated the carrier plans to target business travellers from SMEs as it launches new long haul routes to North America and Europe (06-Sep-2017). "As a full service airline, our strategy is to attract business travellers as well as family travellers... Our theme is luxurious affordable tickets. You don't have to be a CEO of a big company to enjoy our business class service", he said. As previously reported by CAPA, Hong Kong Airlines co-chairman Zhang Kui stated the carrier is altering its business model, with plans to launch new service to London, New York and San Francisco from 2018 and the deployment of A350 aircraft to its fleet from 10-Sep-2017. He noted: "With our business continuing to grow, we have reached a turning point which is steering us towards the goal of becoming a global carrier".

ANA to launch new English version of corporate web booking portal ANA @ desk

All Nippon Airways announced (30-Aug-2017) plans to launch a new English version of the corporate web booking portal, ANA@desk, on 10-Sep-2017. ANA@desk is an exclusively corporate portal that offers business discounts on ANA Japan domestic flights, enabling convenient purchase of business travel tickets with high flexibility. The Japanese portal, launched in 2002, is used by more than four million business travellers p/a.

MakeMyTrip launches MyBusiness for SMEs

MakeMyTrip (MMT) launched MyBusiness, a self-booking tool on the MMT app. MakeMyTrip cofounder and CEO - India Rajesh Magow said: "MakeMyTrip has always been an enabler of change in the way Indians travel, our focus and investment in MyBusiness underlines our sense of purpose in changing the way corporate India moves. We have an aggressive plan in place to tap into this fast-growing business travel market by moving complex offline processes to a convenient and efficient online booking experience for employees and employers alike".

CWT: Business travellers carry an average of four devices, making travel easier to navigate

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) released (24-Aug-2017) its CWT Connected Traveler Study. The survey of 1900 business travellers found:

  • Travellers on average carry four different types of technology, with 80% of travellers globally reporting they rely on their smartphone to conduct business;
  • 88% of travellers believe travel is easier to navigate, with 78% seeking opportunities to travel for work and 72% finding business travel to be stimulating. 55% of business travellers rely on prior travel experience while planning trips, in addition to hotel websites (54%) and airline websites (50%). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travellers (45%) while map apps also see heavy use (41%);
  • Work based relationships and productivity are strengthened through business travel, with 86% of respondents stating travel helped them build new knowledge and perspective, while 80% stated business travel boosted their productivity. 93% said travel positives outweighed negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at work, while 77% stated the same about their home lives;
  • 67% of travellers said they believe travel is safer today, but 46% remain concerned about their safety. 68% stated they "sometimes or always" purchase travel insurance. Business travellers also have difficulties maintaining routines and wellness;
  • 54% of travellers say that their exercise and wellness habits are disrupted when they travel.