Since American Express Global Business Travel shifted five years ago to a joint-venture structure and took a big injection of capital, the question has been asked time and time again: How will the mega travel management company use the money? In addition to a couple splashy acquisitions—last year's HRG deal and 2016's purchase of corporate booking and expense provider KDS—Amex GBT also has been working behind the scenes for years to upgrade its core technology stack.
Business Travel Direct parent Ickenham Travel Group has launched subsidiary Infiniti Travel & Consulting to act as a tech reseller and consultant to other TMCs.
For several years, Amadeus' global distribution system business was on a tear. In the five years leading up to 2018, it gained a net 5 percentage points in market share of airline bookings processed by major GDSs worldwide to solidify its position as the alpha GDS. Last year, however, Amadeus' air booking share bucked the trend with a rare contraction, albeit by less than a percentage point, the company reported Thursday in full-year and fourth-quarter results.
Industry consensus holds that American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel are the "mega" travel management companies, and it's widely agreed they are the three largest in the world. In the next tier down, Expedia's Egencia and Flight Centre Travel Group's corporate travel brands separately have staked the claim as the fourth.
In response to a lawsuit Expedia filed this month, defendant United Airlines confirmed that its ticketing agreement with the online travel giant expires Sept. 30 and that the airline "intends to walk away from Expedia" at that time.
In what is likely to be its final publicly filed earnings statement before it goes private, Travelport reported a 4 percent year-over-year decline in worldwide global distribution system segments and a modest rise in net revenue and earnings for the three months ending Dec. 31, 2018.
Australia-based travel management company Corporate Travel Management and Flight Centre Travel Group's corporate-focused brands this week reported solid growth in corporate travel transactions across their multinational operations and laid out further growth ambitions for the U.S. corporate market.