An untold number of corporate travel's frontline agents are on voluntary leave, furlough, reduced hours or unemployment. Those remaining, meanwhile, sit before phones whose rings have gone mostly silent. For some travel management companies, it's as good a time as ever to ramp up agent training, professional development and skill-building.
Travel management companies of all stripes and sizes in the past month have reduced labor costs through a variety of actions, from unpaid leave, reduced schedules and salary cuts to temporary furloughs and permanent layoffs. In recent weeks, The Beat connected with around a dozen TMCs, virtually all of whom confirmed they have or will apply for U.S. federal relief under the CARES Act to fortify payrolls.
Sabre's gross bookings in March fell 70 percent year over year, the culmination of declines that progressively deepened each month of the first quarter, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange commission filing Monday. Sabre on Monday disclosed further measures to boost liquidity and cut costs, while reporting some preliminary results for the three months ending March 31.
The U.K. antitrust authority's final decision Thursday to bar Sabre's acquisition of Farelogix brings Sabre to a fork in the road not only concerning the deal's future but also its strategy to address the New Distribution Capability. Even though a U.S. federal court this week thwarted the Department of Justice's attempt to block the acquisition, the U.K. move means Sabre has enormous decisions to make, very quickly, amid a pandemic.
A U.S. district court judge has sided with Sabre and Farelogix in the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit that sought to block their merger.
Travelport's already elevated ratio of debt to earnings will widen as travel faces a "virtual standstill" and revenue plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic, ratings agency Fitch this week wrote in an opinion downgrading Travelport's parent company. That followed a similar downgrade by Moody's last week.
In an anemic revenue environment where cashflow is wounded and capital is king, Amadeus took further actions this week to fortify its liquidity position, now ready to stand at more than €4 billion.