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July 20, 2020

Business Travel News for the Week: July 20

Samantha Shankman
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News
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We’re more than half way through summer and travel managers are beginning to prepare for a possible boost to business travel sparked by the official start of the school year. According to a GBTA survey, 56% of companies have changed their travel policies as a result of the pandemic which means how business travel is booked and managed is different than before.

We understand, which is why we’re doing everything we can as your TMC to make the process as smooth as possible. From the TripActions Academy where you can review critical skills to hiring our first chief trust & security officer Nils Puhlmann, we’re committed to ensuring that all systems and processes are in place to support your organization as road warriors return to the skies.

To additionally aid you on the journey, we encourage you to use our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and our COVID-19 Report in your TripActions Admin Dashboard. These help you assess the safety of travel, understand any government regulations associated with travel, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide your business and travel policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community of travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.

Now, let’s dive into what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.

American Airlines and JetBlue Announce Strategic Partnership [CNBC]

The new partnership will allow the airlines to sell seats on each other’s planes and let passengers earn and burn frequent flyer miles. The move will allow the airlines to capture more market share in New York and Boston in a time when competition is high and any competitive advantage could have long lasting effects on the industry. This is also a shrewd move from American, which formed a similar partnership with Alaska Air earlier this year, and provides AA with a stronghold on both the east and west coasts.

56% Travel Buyers have revised their Travel Policy in Light of COVID-19 [GBTA]

As signs of recovery continue in the business travel sector, travel procurement professionals are prioritizing the health and safety of employees according to a new poll released today by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Over half of travel buyers report their company has changed its travel policy and 70% characterize the policy changes as being ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’.

Eventually, We’ll Fly Again. Here’s How to Make Business Travel Safer for Employees [FastCompany]

Business travel has already begun its upward tick, due to the intrinsically collaborative nature of running a business, from overseeing product standards at factories to ensuring new business development deals come to fruition. And while it’s impossible to predict exactly when business travel will return to pre-pandemic levels, industry leaders are confident that a vaccine and rising consumer confidence will lead it to be sooner instead of later.

One of World’s Busiest Borders to Reopen after Virus Closure [Bloomberg]

One of the world’s busiest border crossings is slowly reopening, months after it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Singapore and Malaysia will implement a reciprocal green lane for travel across their border, which some 300,000 people traverse by land each day. Officials are aiming to start the program August 10, facilitating travel for essential business and official purposes. If the plan goes well, this strategy could be replicated around the world.

Behind American Airlines Chief’s All-In Strategy [Wall Street Journal]

Airline leaders have two choices today: Either spend cash to get back in the air despite COVID-19 health concerns or hunker down and risk surrendering market share later. Doug Parker, American Airlines Group Inc.’s chief executive, decided to go all in this summer quickly adding flights back.

For more news and actionable insights from the business travel community, subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions on your favorite podcast platform.

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