President Trump's surprise announcement Wednesday night of a 30-day ban on non-U.S. travelers entering from the European Union's Schengen Area, compounded by growing public anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak, brought an already-limping corporate travel industry to its knees.
The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand is ravaging the U.S. travel agency sector, president of Maryland-based Safe Harbors Business Travel Jay Ellenby testified Tuesday before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business. The travel management company this week laid off a "significant" portion of its workforce and projected its March sales would plummet 50 percent year over year, Ellenby testified.
Travel agency operator ATPI Group last month took an equity stake and entered into a partnership with U.K.-based T&E tech startup Taptrip. It is the multinational travel management company's first investment in an early-stage startup, but won't be its last, ATPI chief innovation and technology officer Ali Hussain said in a recent interview.
Following this year's investment from strategic partner ARC and Delta Air Lines' adoption of its technology to extend travel management features through direct channels, NuTravel now is advancing its Universal Connect multi-airline direct-booking system.
Sabre has proposed to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority a package of behavioral remedies that fall short of the regulator's tentative decision to block its Farelogix acquisition. The remedies resemble commitments Sabre CEO Sean Menke last year made to airline executives and track closely to concessions Sabre offered to CMA before the U.K. regulator escalated its review.
Industrywide global distribution system air bookings faced a "weak industry backdrop" and contracted worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2019, Amadeus reported on Friday. That was before the coronavirus outbreak and its still-evolving effects stifled travel demand further in the opening months of 2020.
Industry first-quarter global distribution system bookings to date have dropped in the "mid-teen" percentages as a result of the coronavirus, Sabre reported Wednesday, and the company expects to take a quarterly revenue hit of at least $100 million.
Travelport during the next two years "will be moving to a next-generation platform" that will deemphasize the legacy Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan global distribution system cores, CEO Greg Webb said in a Tuesday interview with The Beat.