Fred on...

The Business Travel Magazine - - The Conversation -

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.”

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