American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) announced (06-Jun-2023) the US Patent and Trademark Office granted it a fifth patent for 'Determining Customer Risk of Attrition', an invention that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and improve customer satisfaction. The invention is based on a 'tree' shaped data structure and uses machine learning to monitor large amounts of customer communications data to gather 'sentiment scores' from customer feedback. The resulting information is analysed to uncover the contributing factors of high satisfaction levels and retention rates and helps detect reasons for lower satisfaction levels and retention rates. The invention displays the insights in an interactive graphical user interface to visualise trends from the onset of the relationship and deploy actions to improve the metrics. [more - original PR]
BCD Travel: 79% of business travellers surveyed use corporate card for payment
BCD Travel released (07-Jun-2023) the following from a survey of 1349 business travellers on payment and expense in business travel:
- 79% of travellers use a corporate credit card for payment. Other payment methods include personal cards (26%), personal cash (12%) and direct company payments to travel suppliers through bank transfers or lodge cards (16%). Only 1% use a virtual card, even though 26% are familiar with the method;
- In terms of payment, staying within the reimbursement policy (29%) is the biggest pain point, followed by the need to pay for travel expenses out of their own pocket (20%) and the necessity to have cash in the local currency (20%);
- The most valuable expense tool features for business travellers are all related to process automation. These include travel receipts automatically attached to their expense reports (76%), credit card transactions automatically matched to their trip expenses (72%) and expense reports automatically pre-populated with trip data when booking their trip (67%). [more - original PR]
American Airlines and Accelya enable exchange of unused EDIFACT tickets for NDC tickets
American Airlines partnered (05-Jun-2023) with Accelya to enable travel management companies to exchange unused legacy EDIFACT tickets for new distribution capability (NDC) tickets. Accelya can obtain access to EDIFACT issued tickets using the carrier's API and submit extracted fare information to its shopping provider to obtain a price for the exchange. The functionality aims to boost the adoption of NDC by addressing a key challenge faced by travel retailers as they transition from traditional global distribution systems, and can be implemented for any NDC enabled carrier. [more - original PR]
ForwardKeys: Business travel to overtake leisure in Jul-2023
ForwardKeys reported (07-Jun-2023) the recovery in global business travel is expected to overtake leisure in Jul-2023. ForwardKeys VP of insights Olivier Ponti said: "The business flight bookings are 14% behind pre-pandemic (2019) levels and leisure are 16% behind", as of 30-May-2023. Mr Ponti stated: "The gap will probably widen in the autumn, as business bookings for September are just 1% behind 2019, whereas leisure is 8% behind". He added: "It is conceivable the trend of leisure leading the recovery could continue if there is a late surge in summer holiday bookings; but the rise in inflation, including the price of hospitality and airline tickets, makes that unlikely". [more - original PR]
Onfly completes USD16 million investment round
Onfly completed (07-Jun-2023) a USD16 million Series A investment round, led by Left Lane Capital and Cloud9 Capital. The company provides businesses with an end-to-end corporate travel and expense management software platform, and will utilise the funds to scale sales and marketing efforts, build new products and engage in M&A activity. [more - original PR]
UATP: Business travel 'well on its way' to full recovery
UATP released (06-Jun-2023) internal data indicating business travel is "well on its way" to a full recovery, in contrast to predictions of a full recovery not occurring before at least 2024. UATP said leisure travel has also regained its full strength, showcasing a "robust resurgence" in the sector. UATP president and CEO Ralph Kaiser said: "UATP has reached 95% of 2019 volume levels for corporate travel in 2023, while leisure travel, as indicated by our AFP volume levels, shows growth well over 100% within the same period". [more - original PR]
Austrian Airlines CEO: Corporates attracted by the idea of having SAF in their contracts
Austrian Airlines CEO Annette Mann, speaking at the IATA AGM, stated (05-Jun-2023) the carrier has "launched new products so that customers get more familiar with what SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] actually is and that they better understand that there is also a better way to fly already". Ms Mann highlighted that in particular, "lots of corporates are now attracted by the idea of having SAF in their contracts".
KLM CEO: Corporate travel trending below pre-pandemic levels is the new normal
KLM CEO Marian Rintel said high yield leisure travel is "really picking up", while corporate business travel is "less than where it was" pre-pandemic (Bloomberg, 05-Jun-2023). Ms Rintel added corporate travel trending below pre-pandemic levels will be "the new normal".
United Airlines CEO attributes lagging corporate recovery to ongoing 'business recession'
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, speaking to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the IATA AGM, reported (05-Jun-2023) corporate travel demand remains 20% to 25% lower than previously forecast. Mr Kirby attributed the lagging corporate recovery to an ongoing "business recession" due to worldwide economic pressures, however strong consumer demand is "more than making up for the lack of business travel". Mr Kirby stated premium revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is similar to pre-pandemic levels as the carrier continues to sell "far more premium leisure seats than we ever did before".
Air France-KLM CEO: Domestic business travel in France shifting to rail
Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith said "a lot" of domestic business traffic in France has permanently shifted to train travel (Bloomberg, 06-Jun-2023). Mr Smith added: "We've pulled a lot of capacity out, we don't plan to put it back in". Mr Smith added trans Atlantic business traffic has rebounded "reasonably fast", trending at 80% below pre-pandemic levels.