New Distribution Capability “The airlines and GDS have commercial negotiations that they have to get sorted out but they’ve played it out in public and that’s wrong. We know from conversations with clients that they feel forgotten.
“As a TMC we are happy to plug into half a dozen key airlines but what we don’t want to be doing is plugging into 100 airlines.
“As for British Airways, I’m not sure they went about it the best way. Where corporates have their own route deals, they just went and put the fee on everything and that sent a message to clients that they weren’t important to the airline.”
TMC consolidation “We’ve seen consolidation in the sector for a couple of years, but the Amex GBT acquisition of HRG is genuinely a surprise. I don’t think many people were expecting it. It reminds me of the leisure travel industry a few years ago when four big players merged down to two. I’d be less surprised to see another deal of this scale on the TMC side now.
“If I was the boss at CWT or BCD my first thought would be 'do they offer anything I don’t?' Secondly, I’d want to protect my clientbase. It’s clear they will want to grow beyond the current combined size.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us though. If clients are coming up for renewal or in RFP stage they might take a longer look at other options in the market.”