Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Qantas Introduces Travel Management Tool for Australian Businesses

2 weeks ago

​​A new tool has been launched by Qantas to help small and medium sized Australian businesses manage their travel requirements.

Credit: Qantas

The new service will allow users to streamline the travel management process – from booking flights and hotels to implementing travel policies – whilst providing real-time data and analytics to manage costs and prepare expense reports.

Credit: Qantas

Developed based on feedback from existing members of the Qantas Business Rewards program, the new tool will be available as part of the program in addition to the existing benefits.

“We’ve been listening to our Qantas Business Rewards members who have told us that making it easier to manage their business travel will add more value to the program,” said Olivia Wirth, CEO of Qantas Loyalty in a release. 

“The investment we’re making in Qantas Business Rewards will provide Australian businesses with a one-stop platform to manage their business travel needs and make the most of their rewards.”

The new tool was successfully trialed in August, and has now been rolled out to all program members.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Business Travel

Amex GBT Restructures to Focus on Smaller Companies

11 months ago

American Express Global Business Travel is restructuring to focus on small and medium-sized companies, with layoffs expected in the first half of the year.

Job losses are expected to be less than 2 percent.

Amex GBT announced the overhaul internally on Tuesday, and expects to incur restructuring and related charges of $20 million to $25 million, which represent future cash expenditures for the payment of severance and related benefits costs, it said in a filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The overhaul comes as layoffs start to ripple through the travel industry. Vacasa on Tuesday said it was slashing 17 percent of its workforce, while Inspirato is reducing its number of staff by 12 percent as it struggles with lower-than-expected occupancy and disappointing sales.

Technology companies have also announced redundancies, including Google which last week said it was axing 12,000 roles.

Now Amex GBT, the world’s biggest corporate travel agency, will set up a new operating model to “intensify our entire organizational focus around meeting customers’ needs in our global and multinational, and small and medium-sized enterprises portfolios,” it said in the filing.

“We are taking our strategy to the next level,” said Martin Ferguson, the agency’s vice president of public affairs. “We are in a $1.4 trillion global industry and have a significant opportunity to grow our business and deliver unrivalled value to customers. Having market-leading solutions for each of the segments we serve has put us in a very strong position. To accelerate growth, drive consistency and deliver unrivalled value to customers, we are moving to a global, segment-driven model.”

The company has made several acquisitions of smaller agencies over the years, including Egencia and Ovation Travel, while in 2021 it launched a new booking and expense tool, Neo1, to target smaller companies.

During an investor day presentation in 2022, Amex GBT repeated its intent to pursue the small and medium-sized enterprise market, including companies without an official company travel program. That market is worth $675 billion in annual global travel spend, and at the time Amex GBT said it had just 6 percent of that particular slice.

The restructure, which will see Jason Geall become executive vice president, small and medium-sized enterprises, and David Reimer move to executive vice president of global, multinational, is due to be completed by the end of the second quarter this year.

Business Travel

Corp Travel Agency CTM Finally Returns to Yearly Profit

1 year ago

Australia’s Corporate Travel Management has managed to convert the recovery in global business trips into a small profit, after more than two years of tough trading conditions.

It was boosted in particular by winning large accounts off rival agencies, according to CEO Jamie Pherous, and three pandemic-era acquisitions, the most recent being 1000 Mile Travel Group, an all-share transaction worth $1.3 million carried out last month.

The Brisbane-headquartered agency reported a 2022 full-year profit of $41.4 million on an underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (or EBITDA) basis. That’s for the 12 months up to June 30, 2022, and follows total transaction value of $3.51 billion — more than three times the $1.12 billion recorded in 2021. Revenue was $269.1 million.

In 2021 it made a loss of $5 million, on an EBITDA basis.

New Wins

Speaking during an earnings call on Tuesday, Pherous said new clients were contributing to its results, with those clients having moved from its competitors, rather than previously having had unmanaged travel programs.

“We’re winning a lot of business and most of it’s off peers,” he said. “A lot of peers are in difficult positions and can’t reinvest in technology or people at the moment.”

In its 2022 first half, which covers the six months to Dec. 31, 2021, it won $3.27 billion of new corporate business. That amount equates to how much those companies spent on travel during 2019.

“We’re one of the very few (agencies) that can demonstrate we can convert recovering activity into revenue and profit before tax,” he added.

The CTM boss also played down any concerns over staffing levels. It recruited 950 employees in the 12 months, and more than doubled staff in its recently acquired Helloworld division from 125 to 285 people.

Pherous also said that CTM had an “out of the box” recruitment strategy.

“We’re finding people from outside the industry, and put them through our academy. Our senior executives talk about their youth and exuberance,” he said. “We’re nearly at the resources we need. We think it’s critical, we’re not in that race to barter and bargain for staff.”

Business Travel

Australian Corp Travel Agency CTM Notches Up Yet Another Acquisition to Expand in U.S.

1 year ago

Australia’s Corporate Travel Management has bought 1000 Mile Travel Group in an all-share transaction.

Terms of the deal were not fully disclosed, but on Friday CTM issued 106,336 fully paid ordinary shares to Zazi Pty Ltd, in its capacity as trustee of the Zazi Investment Trust, as part consideration for the acquisition of 1000 Mile Travel Group.

This element values the deal at more than $1.3 million.

Founded in 2015, 1000 Mile Travel Group is a network of independent travel experts who handle corporate, group, cruise and leisure bookings.

CTM said the acquisition will help it expand its “independent consultant footprint” in the small and medium enterprise market in Australia, the UK and North America a region where it’s been heavily investing over the past two years.

CTM snapped up U.S.-based Travel and Transport for $195 million in September 2020, months after acquiring Texas-based Corporate Travel Planners.

Closer to home it recently bought Melbourne-based Helloworld Corporate for $127 million.

The deal comes at a time when travel management companies are desperately seeking to recruit more consultants to cope with renewed demand for business trips.

“Our business was established to meet the needs of the independent corporate travel business owner market, and our business model has grown from strength to strength,” said Ben Ross, 1000 Mile Travel founder and managing director. “That model has never been more in demand than it is in the post-pandemic environment, and we’re excited to take the next step of our growth journey with CTM.”

CTM founder and managing director Jamie Pherous added the agency was “well-placed to expand the 1000 Mile Travel model into our largest markets of North America and the UK.”




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