Posted October 15, 2012

Radius Exodus

Travel management network Radius is dealing with two key losses in the United States and bracing for a third. A well-respected senior vice president, Dee Runyan, last week left to join World Travel Inc. in Pennsylvania after nearly two years with Radius. Large member Omega World Travel is preparing to jump to GlobalStar in the new year, and Travel and Transport is considering its options in light of its acquisition of Ultramar Travel.

Omega World Travel executive vice president Goran Gligorovic confirmed that Omega had served Radius its notice and the change would happen in 2013, but declined further comment. 

If T&T also leaves Radius, that would make World Travel Inc. the largest agency member of Radius in the United States. World Travel in 2011 processed 674,000 ARC air transactions, compared with 535,000 at Omega and 910,000 at T&T, according to Business Travel News. Another big agency, the 523,000-segment Ovation Travel Group, this year left Radius for BCD Affiliates. 

Radius CEO Chris Vasiliou attempted to downplay the impact of losing members. "The days of a network being measured by how many agents you have is long gone," he said. "The real question is how much business you're driving. With T&T, we're obviously hoping we can provide services to the integrated company. The amount of business we're integrating with T&T and the pipeline and data relationships we have today are pretty deep. We'll leave it to them to evaluate whether we can expand the operations to include Ultramar. We feel pretty confident because we have been adding a lot of resources and capabilities—we added 25 people during the past eight to 10 months, and now have more than 70."

Asked to comment on Omega, Vasiliou said, "We have had a long and good relationship with them--there's nothing bad about it. It's their business decision."

Radius still counts Adelman, Best and Gant as members—the largest of those being Adelman, with about half the transactions as World Travel.

Such other big corporate travel brands as Travel Leaders Corporate and Travelocity Business retain business relationships with Radius, though they are not members in the traditional sense. 

T&T president and CEO Bill Tech last week suggested the possibility of leaving Radius either to join GlobalStar, where Ultramar is a key member, or to create a new global network. The membership groups' bylaws dictate that T&T will leave Radius, Ultramar will leave GlobalStar or both. T&T is one of three agencies with the largest ownership holdings in Radius, following a 2011 increase in its investment.

Formerly of WorldTravel BTI, BCD Travel and KesselRun Consulting, Runyan will serve as an executive vice president responsible for client services at World Travel, which introduced her Friday to customers at a networking and education event in New York. Vasiliou said Kieran Hartwell, a longtime Radius exec who for nearly three years has served as senior vice president of EMEA working from London, would relocate to the company's Bethesda, Md., headquarters and add Runyan's responsibilities for the Americas region to his. Vasiliou will continue to manage the Asia-Pacific region himself.

Posted by: Jay Campbell | More by Jay Campbell

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