GUEST EDITOR: Amadeus' Jay Richmond

Amadeus senior director of global solution consulting and global business agencies for the Americas, Jay Richmond, is responsible for a team of solution consultants who analyze and asses the complex technology and operational environments of business travel agencies in order to propose end-to-end solutions that will drive efficiencies, growth, and innovation. Jay's team works with business travel agencies who operate globally as well as those operating throughout the Americas.

Before moving to his current role, Jay led product marketing for travel agency products in the Americas, where he drove Amadeus' product and platform strategy to help corporate customers increase revenue and boost profits through focused business solutions, innovation, development and technology-infused change. 

Prior to joining Amadeus, Jay held senior roles in IT and supplier relationships at a global travel management company.

Jay lives in the Washington, D.C. area and can frequently be found enjoying the arts at the Kennedy Center, Warner Theater, and other venues downtown. Jay loves to cook and has a particular affinity for the cuisine of southeast Asia. (You have to try his green curry.)


How Bold is Your Business Transformation? A New Way to Measure Progress
(McKinsey Quarterly, July 28)

All of us in the travel industry are facing an accelerating pace of change that necessitates a constant evaluation of our business strategy. Business transformation can be a daunting prospect; this article describes common traits of exemplary transformations. Being able to break the daunting task of business transformation down into 10 key areas, as described in the article, can greatly assist leadership in clarifying the most productive path forward. As we collectively face seismic shifts in distribution, economics, and competition, this type of strategic guidance can generate sustainable and disproportionate value.

American Airlines Plans NDC Acceleration, Saying Results Are Above Expectations
(Travel Weekly, July 31)

This is a valuable update on the status of the most aggressive NDC strategy among U.S. airlines. While many of us might have been pessimistic on the results of American Airlines' move to shift 40 percent of its content out of EDIFACT and into New Distribution Capability, this article shows there were no negative impacts. The article has a very important statement for every travel agency: "When American does move forward with further content removal … agencies that have not yet brought their own NDC capabilities up to speed will be most affected." It will be critical for agencies to stay up to date on NDC performance for American Airlines, United Airlines, and expectedly Delta Air Lines, and to ensure their NDC readiness timeline is aligned with those airline strategies.

State of Travel 2023: Travel in 250 Charts

I know, I know, this isn't an article! True, but an exhaustive and informative look at travel trends and performance data across our entire industry. This is a valuable resource to trigger strategic thinking on how these trends create opportunities or challenges for our businesses and customers. The section on AI in travel provides some interesting information on the AI revolution. 


Hydrogen Hype is Rising Again—Will This Time be Different?
(The Economist, Nov. 14, 2022)

We continue to look at sustainability as a key objective for our industry, and indeed for our personal lives, and hydrogen fuel cell technology remains a possible step change in clean fuel. Certainly, there have been attempts in the past that were disappointing, but the research and investment in this technology has continued and appears to be poised to deliver technology that will compete with battery-driven vehicles in the next five years. A robust and diverse hydrogen fuel-cell industry could provide for critical reduction in emissions worldwide without loss of performance.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt

As one of the most important people in U.S. history, Roosevelt served as president during some of the most challenging times the U.S. has faced. From the Great Depression to World War II, Roosevelt faced situations that appear hopeless in retrospect. There were certainly many aspects of his presidency that are strongly criticized and those that are lauded; however, he laid the groundwork for prosperity unlike any previously seen.

I would ask him which, if any, of his criticized policies he would think differently about now. I would also ask him how he found success in driving alignment and securing support for transformative change.


(Documentary by Ron Fricke)

This is so tough! But, in the spirit of our industry, I will choose the documentary film Baraka. Such a beautiful and moving tribute to the world in which we live. Roger Ebert said it best: "It uses no language, so needs no translation. It speaks in magnificent images, natural sounds, and music both composed and discovered. It regards our planet and the life upon it."