Former CWT CEO and longtime Travelport exec Kurt Ekert on Jan. 3 joined Sabre as president amid what he called "a transformational period in the industry." He caught up with The Beat to talk about how he came to Sabre, strategic priorities, the corporate travel recovery path and the next generation of travel distribution.
Since Michelle McKinney Frymire became CEO of CWT in May, the company has reduced debt, brought in new equity and saw its longtime owner, the Carlson family, shed its majority stake. To accelerate its recapitalization, CWT's parent company last month completed a prepackaged Chapter 11 court-supervised process. McKinney Frymire fielded questions at The Beat Live in New York City.
Air Black Box chief commercial officer Patrick Edmond recently spoke with BTN transportation editor and The Beat contributor Michael B. Baker about the process of connecting legacy and low-cost carriers and the opportunities it might present for low-cost carriers pursuing corporate business.
CWT CEO Kurt Ekert spoke with The Beat editor-in-chief Jay Boehmer on the company's new operational structure, its recent capital raise and debt exchange as well as corporate client relationships. "We've spent the shutdown period recalibrating and thinking about what will determine who wins in the long term in the industry," he said.
Travelport CEO Greg Webb on navigating the crisis, Travelport's still-intact plan to collapse its GDS cores into a single "next-generation platform," customer relations in the Covid-19 era, and Travelport's dispute with Wex, which last month moved to back out of a deal to acquire eNett.
Travel Leaders Group in recent weeks announced the consolidation of its travel management company businesses, Travel Leaders Corporate and Altour, under the Altour brand and advanced plans to internally align Protravel and Tzell. This comes as the parent changes its name from Travel Leaders Group to Internova Travel Group. Internova CEO J.D. O'Hara spoke with The Beat.
"I liken our business to World War I trench warfare with some innovation on top," CWT CEO Kurt Ekert said at The Beat Live in assessing the dynamics of the travel management company market. "It's a hypercompetitive space. It's a mature sector. There's margin pressure, and there's fundamental change happening in terms of expectations from our supplier partners, from our clients and from travelers." Ekert took questions at The Beat Live.
SAP Concur president Jim Lucier sat down with The Beat editor-in-chief Jay Boehmer at The Beat Live to discuss the perceptions of corporate booking tools and why SAP Concur still doesn't want to become a travel management company—or a global distribution system, for that matter.
TripActions' prowess for fundraising is on display again. After pulling in $154 million in Series C funding in November, the growth-hungry digital travel management company today announced its Series D funding round of $250 million from the same crop of investors, led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Co-founder and CEO Ariel Cohen spoke with The Beat.
Jill Palmer, CEO of U.K.-based Click Travel, caught up with The Beat this week to talk tech upgrades, supplier direct connects and growth plans.