Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: March 8
TripActions’ recent $155 million raise was a much needed sign of confidence for the corporate travel industry. Last week PhocusWire published an article how the investment signaled investors’ confidence in the return of business travel at large — although it would be different.
“The old model is changing. It’s no longer enough to be a travel company who embraces the use of technology,” the author wrote. “The industry is also consolidating as travel management companies take more ownership in technology and many travel tech companies invest in vertical integration. Eventually, this will consolidate power amongst a few – creating new powerhouses in the industry. This shift is something that impacts us all.”
The TripActions team is excited about playing a role in reinventing corporate travel and spend and defining a new world in which work, life, travel, and play can seamlessly integrate with the use of technology.
As you chart a path to return to business travel, our free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and the COVID-19 Reports are powerful tools for rebuilding your T&E program. They’ll help you assess the safety of travel by region, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics in the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insights from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.
Now, here’s what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.
U.S. airlines, joined by travel groups and labor, urged the Biden administration to take the lead in developing standards for temporary Covid-19 health credentials that would help reopen global travel by documenting vaccinations and test results.
As vaccination rollouts gather pace around the world, attention is now turning to vaccines of another kind: vaccine passports. Last week, the International Air Transport Association announced the launch of its new digital travel pass as “the way forward” in resuming quarantine-free international travel.
As we start to plan trips again, airlines are adding routes to accommodate our gradual return to the skies. Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue, says the airline has adapted at a pace like never before, pivoting routes to changing customer interest. Those changes offer a glimpse into how travel behavior has shifted because of the pandemic.
Fears that business travel will never return are unfounded, United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby said during a virtual energy conference, arguing that while some companies may try to reduce business travel to cut costs, they will run up against competition who are willing to fly.
“The first time they lose a sale to a competitor who showed up in person while they tried to do a sales call over Zoom, will be the last time they try to do a sales call on Zoom,” Kirby said.
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