Egencia, Expedia’s business travel unit, has been steadily improving its competitive position in the corporate travel ecosystem, and it’s looking to buy its way to greater scale in the future.

Skift executive editor Dennis Schaal reported from last week’s Expedia Partner Conference in Las Vegas with an update from the Egencia brass on their growth plans.

The focus is on increasing transaction volume after moving away from a geographically segmented corporate structure last year. They’re willing to be buyers in the market, as well, just not for technology.

The time seems ripe for further acquisitions by Egencia; now that the integration of Orbitz for Business has concluded, it’s time to focus on other potential deals. It’ll be interesting to see if the hangover from integrating Orbitz pushes Expedia Inc. away from large acquisitions going forward, though.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

Business of Buying

Key Economic Indicators Point to a Good 2018 for Travel, Despite Larger Turmoil: Key economic indicators point to a solid 2018 for travel and tourism as long as federal policy changes don’t get in the way.

New German High-Speed Rail Link Looks to Take Business From Airlines: Although aviation liberalization has made flying within Europe much cheaper and easier, it doesn’t always make sense. Using trains, especially high-speed ones, is often much more convenient.

Delta and Partners Will Charge for Checked Bags on Cheapest Transatlantic Fares: A $60 fee to check a bag in one direction sounds extreme. But how many passengers will buy basic economy fares on transatlantic flights? It’s one thing to give up perks on a two-hour domestic flight. It’s another to give up the right to choose a seat on an eight- or 10-hour segment.

United Mulls Investing in Regional Carrier ExpressJet: United is the only one of the three major U.S. global network airlines that does not own at least one regional airline. That sometimes puts United at a disadvantage. Investing in ExpressJet may help United improve its position, though in recent years, ExpressJet has been among the least profitable regional operators.

Safety + Security

Latest Travel Ban Appeal Arguments Focus on Security Risks: The longer the travel ban appeals process goes on, the more likely it seems that a watered-down version of the original ban will remain in place.

Disruption + Innovation

Egencia Is Looking for Scale in Mergers and Acquisitions, Not New Geographies: Expedia has been talking for a couple of years about being opportunistic when it comes to mergers and acquisitions for its Egencia business travel unit. That may be on the back burner for a while, though, as the parent company, which has been bogged down in integrating acquisitions over the past couple of years, focuses on growing what it already has.

DOT Nixes Proposals to Force More Airline Fee Transparency: Regulatory rollback is the name of the game for the Trump administration. One has to wonder if a new version of the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, which would allow airlines to hide taxes and fees during online booking, will get another shot in Congress as well.

TSA Wasn’t Prepared for the Popularity of Its PreCheck Program: The TSA is facing bureaucratic issues because travelers are tired of waiting on lengthy airport security lines. Perhaps merging PreCheck and Global Entry, as authorities are reportedly considering, could help clear up this bottleneck. It could also make things way worse.

Expedia CEO: Math and Strategy Are ‘In Our Favor’: Expedia’s HomeAway unit isn’t as profitable as the parent company initially envisioned, and Booking.com rained on Trivago’s parade. Still, Expedia itself — and financial analysts — are optimistic about Expedia’s long-term prospects. Regardless of the promise, these are very challenging days in online travel.

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Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Photo Credit: The Egencia office in Manchester is pictured in this photo from 2012. Expedia's business travel unit could be in the market for mergers or acquisitions in the coming years. Annie Egencia / Wikimedia Commons