Skift Take

Corporate travel has embraced new distribution capability in fits and starts, mostly because the global distribution systems have been slow to integrate the technology. Australian companies, however, have seen the wisdom of taking a forward-looking approach.


Despite the headlines about what more advanced technology can do to help airlines better merchandise their products, progress has remained slow across the industry.

This week we have a missive from Australia taking a look at what Serko and Corporate Travel Management are doing to embrace more powerful airline retailing methods. It helps that they are working closely with Qantas, which is investing heavily in new distribution capability-based technology.

We also have the latest from Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill on Sabre’s financial earnings, which show the company’s distribution business picking up after a lackluster few years. CEO Sean Menke seems to have finally turned things around after a period of layoffs and corporate restructuring.

Check out these stories, and much more from across the industry, below.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

Airlines, Hotels, and Innovation

Corporate Travel Sector Eyes a New Distribution Model Down Under: Qantas, Serko, and Corporate Travel Management are leading the charge towards new distribution capability adoption in Australia, promising better access to rich content. They will have to overcome plenty of confusion in the market, however, before the new distribution channels are fully accepted.

U.S. Airlines Hope to Charge Passengers More as Fuel Prices Climb: U.S. airlines got a little fat and happy when fuel prices were at historically low levels. Passengers loved it too, because prices on competitive routes came down. But that’s ending now, and travelers should get used to the new normal.

Lufthansa Still Has Its Eye on Alitalia: Another steady update from Lufthansa. If and when further consolidation happens in Europe, we can expect the airline group to play a key role.

Sabre Sees Gains After Tech Investment Turnaround: Think of travel tech giant Sabre as being like an orchestra. CEO Sean Menke has been like a conductor replacing lead players and changing the tune. So far, investors like what they hear.

Air Canada Plans a Hostile Takeover of the Aeroplan Loyalty Program: Until last week, Air Canada’s loyalty program members were on track to see Aeroplan split from the airline in 2020. Now, the program and miles are in jeopardy.

Meeting Planners Turn to Mobile Tools for Event Sourcing: Corporate confidence is high, so more meetings are taking place offsite. This is putting pressure on planners to source and plan events more efficiently, so many are turning to mobile tools to help.

The Future of Travel

Making Sense of the Hyatt, NH Hotels, Minor International Saga Thus Far: Would NH Hotel Group have been better off with Hyatt? Perhaps we’ll never know. But maybe there’s another company out there that isn’t afraid to get into a bidding war with Minor?

Expense Management Startup Divvy Raises $35 Million: Divvy launched in April, and it may already be valued at $150 million. One possible lesson for other startups is that customers may be eager for simple, one-stop interfaces because they’re facing “dashboard fatigue” from having to check too many other online systems.

Southwest CEO Says Assigned Seats Still Don’t Make Sense: You have to give Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly credit. Analysts are constantly prodding him to embrace tried-and-true approaches for generating ancillary revenue. For the most part, he resists. He doesn’t want to mess with the airline’s secret sauce.


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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Tags: corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: The cabin of a Qantas 787 aircraft. Qantas

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