American Express Global Business Travel today is announcing a commercial deal with Lola to fill a product gap in the mega travel management company's product portfolio for small and midsize companies that have less complexity than typical Amex GBT clients. Lola, meanwhile, gains a large ally to boost adoption of its technology for travelers and travel program administrators in the lightly managed corporate travel sector.
Direct Travel has joined with Anglo-Dutch travel management company ATPI Group to form Direct ATPI Global Travel, a jointly held company that will focus on multinational midmarket corporate clients, the companies announced Tuesday.
United Airlines during its quarterly earnings call last week reported double-digit-percentage growth in corporate revenue on a year-over-year basis. With revenue come selling and distribution costs, and Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay seized on one of them: the "alarming" growth in commissions paid to travel management companies.
New Zealand-based corporate T&E tech provider Serko is bringing on corporate travel vet Tony D'Astolfo to lead its push in the U.S. and Canada. D'Astolfo left another T&E tech provider, Deem, three months ago. Effective April 16, he'll be SVP of North America for Serko, which is publicly traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
Travelport veteran Scott Hyden is departing the global distribution system operator to join Carlson Wagonlit Travel's nascent RoomIt division next week. Travelport confirmed his departure, and CWT confirmed his arrival.
National Australia Bank has withdrawn significant business from Flight Centre Travel Group-owned travel management company FCM after concluding it was being overcharged for bookings, according a report this week by Fairfax Media, which publishes The Sydney Morning Herald and other Australian news outlets.
Well before it acquired KDS, American Express Global Business Travel set its sights on offering its own proprietary booking technology. Last year's acquisition of KDS brought booking tech to Amex GBT and a wholly owned expense system to boot. An integrated T&E technology offering from the mega travel management company is on the horizon, CEO Doug Anderson said last week during The Beat Live conference, but for now, GBT has to sit on the expense sidelines.
New Zealand-based corporate T&E technology provider Serko is establishing North American operations and named former NuTravel executive Rich Miller to lead the charge as general manager of U.S. market sales.
Several sources discussing the pending acquisition of HRG by American Express Global Business Travel anticipate the deal to close as designed. Yet, the door is open for another player with sufficient capital and a strategic rationale to make a competing offer.