BUSINESS TRAVEL

Expedia Group results improve but CEO sees ‘bumpy’ road ahead for global travel recovery

Expedia Inc | August 11, 2021

Expedia Group, the Seattle-based online travel giant, posted improved results for the second quarter, but cautioned that the resurgence of the pandemic is complicating the recovery of the global travel industry, and its business as a result.
  • The company’s net loss of $301 million for the second quarter was an improvement over its loss of $753 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.13, exceeding analyst expectations of 60 cents per share.
  • Revenue for the quarter more than tripled from last year to $2.1 billion, reflecting ongoing signs of recovery for the global travel industry. That compares to revenue of $2.9 billion in the second quarter of 2019, prior to the pandemic.
  • Gross bookings rose to $20.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion a year ago, but still well below its $28.3 billion in bookings two years ago.
Expedia Group includes travel brands such as vrbo, Orbitz, Hotwire, Trivago, Hotels.com, and Egencia in addition to the flagship Expedia.com.

Despite seeing progress in the second quarter, the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and lower vaccine rates in some parts of the world are creating new challenges, said Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern on a call with investors and analysts. Highlights from his comments:
  • Expedia saw improvement in the overall market and in its business in the second quarter in North America and the U.S., particularly in domestic travel and vacation rentals.
  • Improvement in international travel, corporate travel, and big city travel was “relatively muted, comparatively,” Kern said.
  • However, travel has cooled off in July, following the close of the quarter. “There’s a lot of unknowns, including in the U.S., and we’re starting to see some of that percolate through cancellation rates and more volatility in the numbers,” Kern said.   
Kern expressed optimism that global travel will ultimately recover from the pandemic.

“We believe that as vaccines continue to roll out across the globe, that will bring greater security and greater comfort and greater willingness to travel,” he said. “But the road may still be bumpy for a while, as we watch all the variants play out and various government responses to them.”

Expedia Group on Thursday announced a marketing promotion for its apps to raise up to $12 million for UNICEF’s vaccination efforts in low-income countries

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Expedia Group Launches New Global Social Impact & Sustainability Strategy

Expedia Group | September 14, 2022

Expedia Group announced its new global social impact and sustainability strategy to advance a travel ecosystem that is responsible, open, and accessible to all. Combining the company’s mission, purpose, and values with its traveler-centric mindset, the Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy is focused on three priorities – increasing access for underserved travelers, democratizing the travel economy, and innovating sustainable solutions for the future of travel. Earlier this year, the company announced its Open World technology platform – created for partners of all sizes to leverage and configure products and services needed to succeed in the travel ecosystem. Aligned with this innovation, and the belief that travel is a force for good, the next iteration of Open World extends to the traveler experience, community engagement, and environmental impact. “Travel is transformative. It broadens horizons, strengthens connections and changes perspectives. With our new Open World™ social impact and sustainability forward-looking plans, we will further our mission to power travel for everyone, everywhere,Travel needs to lighten its footprint on the planet, and everyone should be able to experience it and receive the associated benefits. Now is the time to innovate the existing model. We have a responsibility to enable a stronger, more sustainable industry.” -Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Expedia Group. The Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy will tackle inequities in travel, accelerate meaningful change for the mosaic of travelers and communities that power the global industry, and ensure a healthy planet. Expedia Group’s social impact and sustainability strategic framework includes: Inclusive pathways for underserved travelers Unfortunately, historic and social barriers still too often limit equitable and accessible travel. Per Expedia Group Media Solutions’ recent Inclusive Travel Insights Report1, demand is increasing as consumers are seeking more inclusive travel offerings when searching and booking. Expedia Group is increasing its own capabilities to improve the experience of underserved travelers by identifying and helping to lessen gaps. For example, Expedia.com has made improvements to accessibility filters to include options like elevators, service animal accommodations, roll-in showers, sign-language staff availability, and also expanded search features for travelers such as LGBTQIA+ welcoming properties. What’s Next? To ensure more people are able to experience all that travel has to offer​, Expedia Group will focus a portion of its giving to provide grants to impact-driven organizations working to remove barriers to travel for underserved communities around the world. ​ Economic advancement for communities underrepresented in travel Expedia Group is strengthening economic opportunity across the travel ecosystem to ensure more people and communities can benefit from the industry’s growth and associated benefits. Using the power of its technology platform to help diversify the business of travel, Expedia Group will support small and local businesses, particularly those focused on improving the representation and experience of underrepresented travelers. What’s Next? To help diversify the business of travel and meet traveler demand for more responsible options, Expedia Group will soon launch a program aimed at start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses in travel. Prosperous planet for generations to come Expedia Group recognizes the environmental toll that today’s travel industry often has on the planet and is committed to mobilizing its vast network of travelers, partners, and peers to innovate more sustainable business models and empower travelers to make more responsible choices. Fostering a healthy planet and a travel industry that mitigates and adapts to climate change is central to the Open World social impact and sustainability strategy. Expedia Group recently joined the Travalyst Coalition and signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism. Under the Glasgow Declaration, Expedia Group has committed to deliver plans that will support the global goals of cutting emissions in half over the next decade and allowing the travel industry to reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. The Travalyst Coalition enables these goals by allowing travel companies like Expedia Group to deliver unified sustainability frameworks and methodologies to travelers across the globe. What’s Next? Expedia Group is currently developing a long-term climate action plan and associated roadmap for greening its own operations while driving industry-wide change. A new program being developed in partnership with The Travel Foundation will offer training and practical guidance to destination marketing organizations (DMOs), enabling them to lead the way on climate action in tourism and catalyze meaningful change at a local level. These three priorities build upon Expedia Group’s foundation and ongoing commitment to philanthropy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Expedia Group led programs including the Give the World a Shot initiative – a joint endeavor with UNICEF to enhance COVID-19 vaccination rates in communities around the world – as global, equitable access to the vaccine is in line with traveler values and essential to reopening the world to travel. Expedia Group donated approximately $10.5 million – vaccinating three million people and moving the travel industry one step closer to recovery. Learn more about Expedia Group’s past impact work in its 2021 Global Impact Report and latest Inclusion and Diversity Report. For additional information, visit www.expediagroup.com/who-we-are/Impact--Sustainability. The research for the Inclusive Travel Insights Report was conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research, which included an online survey of 11,000 representatives, general population adults ages 18+ in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK and U.S. – fielded between February 11 and March 6, 2022. About Expedia Group Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of three pillars: Expedia Product & Technology, focused on the group’s product and technical strategy and offerings; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

JetBlue Introduces New TrueBlue® Loyalty Program, Bringing Added Value and New Perks to Customers

JetBlue | December 08, 2022

JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced a new TrueBlue® loyalty program that offers new perks and more choices as an increasing number of customers look to JetBlue as a trusted source for travel beyond just flights. The new program maintains most of TrueBlue’s signature perks that customers have come to love while also allowing TrueBlue members new opportunities to earn perks and status along the way. The more ways customers interact with JetBlue, the more perks they can earn. From JetBlue Vacations hotel and cruise packages, to cars, stays and activities from Paisly, to many JetBlue flight extras and add-ons, and purchases on all JetBlue credit cards, everyone from infrequent travelers to road warriors can find ways to earn and redeem in JetBlue’s loyalty program.Our loyalty program must serve the needs of the JetBlue customer today, many of whom look to us as more than just a way to get from point A to point B, said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. Customers have come to love our unique combination of low fares and high-quality service, and now turn to us for more than just a flight. We are evolving our loyalty strategy to deliver even more value for customers across our entire suite of travel products and partnerships, including those who take advantage of our strategic partnership with American Airlines. We’re rolling out a bigger, better, bluer TrueBlue program this spring that’s designed to meet the needs – and exceed the expectations – of more customers, whether they travel once a week, or just once in a while,said Jayne O’Brien, head of marketing and loyalty, JetBlue. No two travelers are alike, which is why we’ve redesigned TrueBlue to let customers customize their perks as they soar toward Mosaic status, choosing the ones that are most valuable to them along the way. “We know our customers are booking more than just flights with JetBlue, so we are excited to have a program where travelers are rewarded throughout all aspects of their travel journey, There are so many opportunities for our customers to enjoy the signature JetBlue experience through flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rentals and more,” -Andres Barry, president, JetBlue Travel Products. TrueBlue will offer more value, new choices and unique personalization through a variety of all-new program aspects, including: Tiles become the new way to track and measure progress toward Mosaic status JetBlue’s most loyal group of travelers. Customizable Perks You Pick, available to more TrueBlue members without Mosaic status, will reward more travelers sooner. Multiple levels of Mosaic, each with Mosaic Signature Perks and Perks You Pick, bring expanded perks to JetBlue’s most loyal customers. Combined spend counts with all JetBlue credit cards. Add up JetBlue travel spend and any JetBlue credit card spend to unlock perks. New JetBlue credit card enhancements on select cards bring new perks to cardholders. The new TrueBlue will still carry over many of the perks customers know and love: All TrueBlue members will continue to earn TrueBlue points on JetBlue and eligible American Airlines flights, and can redeem those points for award travel on JetBlue, including any seat at any time, with no blackout dates or expiration dates. TrueBlue points will never expire. Use Cash + Points to pay for JetBlue flights and JetBlue Vacations packages. Pool points with family and friends. Earn 2X points on jetblue.com or the JetBlue app. Select reciprocal loyalty benefits for Mosaic members traveling on American Airlines. The new program is set to go live in spring 2023 and will make TrueBlue more rewarding than ever before in its 20-year history. Perks You Pick for TrueBlue Members The new TrueBlue program is designed to ensure that all TrueBlue members have the opportunity to get rewarded, even before achieving Mosaic status. For the first time ever, travelers can start earning and enjoying perks before earning Mosaic status. TrueBlue members can customize their experience with Perks You Pick, choosing their first perk with just 10 tiles, then add more perks when they reach 20, 30 and 40 tiles. For every 10 tiles TrueBlue members earn, until they reach 50, they will get to choose a new perk from the following: Early boarding. Get settled sooner with Group B boarding (excluding Blue Basic fares). Priority security. Access an expedited lane to security at dozens of airports where available. Alcoholic drink. First beer, wine or liquor is free each flight (21+). JetBlue Vacations® bonus. 2X points bonus on a JetBlue Vacations package (one-time use).(a) 5,000-point bonus. Boost your TrueBlue balance with 5,000 bonus points. These perks will allow even occasional travelers to enjoy an elevated travel experience when flying on JetBlue. Once a customer earns 50 tiles, they reach Mosaic 1 status, receive all TrueBlue Perks You Pick and are set up to qualify for even more perks within new Mosaic levels.(b) New Mosaic Levels As part of the reimagined TrueBlue program, JetBlue is also meaningfully enhancing the Mosaic program to include four distinct Mosaic levels, each featuring a Mosaic Signature Perk. Each Mosaic level has a set of distinct benefits plus, customers are entitled to pick a Mosaic Signature Perk. Mosaic Signature Perks: Mosaic 1 – 50 tiles: Mosaic Boarding. First two Checked Bags Free. Beer, Wine & Liquor. Even More® Space at Check-In. Same-Day Switches. Priority Security. Dedicated Check-In. Dedicated Support Line and Priority Chat Assistance. Complimentary Upgrades on Heathrow Express. Mosaic 2 – 100 tiles: Even More Space Up to 7” more legroom at no extra charge during booking (pending availability). Mosaic 3 – 150 tiles: Move to Mint® Four Move to Mint certificates that enable complimentary upgrades from core to any Mint seat. Number of certificates required to upgrade varies. Mosaic 4 – 250 tiles: Move to Mint Again + BLADE Airport helicopter transfers Two additional Move to Mint certificates. Credits that can be redeemed for four complimentary seats on BLADE Airport helicopter transfers between Manhattan and JFK or EWR. Additionally, each time a member qualifies for a new level of Mosaic, they’ll also be able to select one new perk from the Mosaic Perks You Pick menu. Mosiac Perks You Pick: FoundersCard Blue Membership Enjoy 150+ premium travel, business, and lifestyle benefits—created exclusively for Mosaic members. Pet Fee Waiver Jet with your pet (cat or small dog) at no extra charge ($125 value per flight). $99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards $99 one-time statement credit for JetBlue Plus or Business Card.(c) 20-Tile Bonus Get or gift a 20-tile boost to get to the next level faster. 15,000-Point Bonus Boost your TrueBlue balance with 15,000 bonus points. Mint Suite Priority (arriving later in 2023) Priority access to Mint Suite selection on select aircraft (pending availability). Excludes Mint Studio™. Introducing Tiles Tiles are the new and easy way to track progress toward status, while earning perks at key milestones along the way. Intrepid travelers and casual fliers alike will be eligible for perks sooner than ever before and even if they haven’t yet achieved Mosaic status. While still earning valuable points that can be redeemed for award travel, TrueBlue members will also earn tiles based on their combination of travel spend and credit card spend, not just one or the other. One tile is awarded for every $100 in qualifying spend on more of the ways a customer can JetBlue.(d) Hotel rooms and resorts. Cars and cruises. Activities and extras. Travelers will be able to rack up rewards with JetBlue Vacations, Paisly by JetBlue, JetBlue fees, JetBlue add-ons and American Airlines-operated flights. Additionally, one tile is awarded for every $1,000 in qualifying spend on all JetBlue credit cards. JetBlue and Barclays Credit Card Enhancements This spring, JetBlue is also introducing enhancements to select Barclays JetBlue credit cards. JetBlue Plus Card members can enjoy Points Payback, allowing them to redeem points to pay themselves back from purchases of $25 or greater, up to a maximum of $1,000 annually. Points redeemed for purchases will appear as a statement credit toward their account balance. In addition, JetBlue Business Card members can enjoy early Group A boarding on JetBlue-operated flights. The Transition to the New TrueBlue In spring 2023, Mosaic-Qualifying points and segments will be retired and TrueBlue members will see how many tiles they have based on how much they’ve already spent in 2023. Any member eligible for Perks You Pick will have the opportunity to select them based on their in-progress 2023 tile count. Mosaic members will be assigned a Mosaic level based on how much they spent in 2022 or how much they spent in 2023, whichever is greater. They’ll immediately begin enjoying the Mosaic Signature Perks of each level and will have the opportunity to select Mosaic Perks You Pick associated with that level. For more information about JetBlue’s new TrueBlue program, visit: jetblue.com/newtrueblue. About JetBlue JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and United Kingdom. For more information and the best fares, visit jetblue.com. Qualifying travel spend excludes government taxes and fees and travel insurance. All net purchases are qualifying credit card spend. See TrueBlue Terms & Conditions and applicable cardmember agreement. Members selecting the JetBlue Vacations Bonus perk will earn this benefit on the 6 TrueBlue points per eligible dollar spent on airfare and 1 TrueBlue point per eligible dollar spent on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and transfers calculated based on the member’s individual proportionate share, as determined by JetBlue, of a JetBlue Vacations package booking; members selecting this perk will not earn the bonus on any other individual travelers’ portions of the booking. Points bonus does not apply to the Mosaic bonus, any credit card bonus, or any additional bundled points or promotional points. See terms and conditions. Any TrueBlue Perks You Pick that are not selected by the member as they accumulate tiles will automatically be granted upon reaching any level of Mosaic status, but the 5,000 bonus points and the JetBlue Vacations Bonus will not be available to Mosaics who earned status in 2022 for 2023. If a Mosaic qualifies for 2024 and beyond, they are eligible to receive these perks. The $99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards is available to Barclays JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard® and JetBlue Business Mastercard® cardmembers only. You will be eligible to select this benefit after reaching Mosaic 1 status. The benefit can only be redeemed once per Mosaic qualifying year. If you product trade from Barclays JetBlue Plus Card to the Barclays JetBlue Card, you will no longer be eligible for this benefit. 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Fareportal and Amadeus Expand Partnership with Integration of NDC Offers

Fareportal | November 18, 2022

Fareportal’s prominence in the travel industry’s adoption of new distribution capability (NDC) to advance travel retailing is growing with its most recent integration of NDC with Amadeus, a leader in global travel technology and long-time partner of Fareportal. The company behind leading online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel, Fareportal has been a front-runner in NDC integrations, with multiple airlines supported over the past few years. Amadeus has been a major driver of NDC since the technology standard’s inception and has heavily invested in retailing capabilities to enable this transition for our industry. Amadeus is live with NDC-enabled content in every region of the world and deeply committed to progressing NDC adoption and collaborating to unlock opportunities for value creation. Fareportal is leveraging the benefits of the Amadeus Travel Platform to access NDC-enabled content. Among the advantages is the ability for travel sellers to search, compare, book, and service air content through one single platform. Amadeus currently is partnering with more than 20 airlines to distribute NDC-sourced content in the Amadeus Travel Platform. More than half of them are already making their NDC content available in Amadeus. For the air traveler, the benefit of NDC comes in the form of enhanced retail offerings via a single platform. Passengers can access the full suite of products offered by an airline, all within the OTA’s digital ecosystem. Amadeus’ NDC-enabled solutions allow for complex servicing capabilities for NDC offers, which help streamline customer support, providing the ability to help those travelers who require post transaction service. “Our partnership with Amadeus has continued to grow and expand over the years. This latest integration highlights the strength of its solutions and the benefit Amadeus provides to our brands, CheapOair and OneTravel.” -Werner Kunz-Cho, Fareportal CEO Sam Abdou, Executive Vice President, Airline Distribution, Search and Online, Amadeus, adds, “The fact that our long-term relationship with Fareportal continues to grow is a testament to the strength of our teams and their dedication to technology innovation. We believe that NDC is critical to the advancement of travel retailing and we are dedicated to driving its growth and success for the benefit of all players. Today’s announcement with Fareportal is significant given the role online travel agencies play in advancing NDC and accelerating its adoption around the world. About Fareportal: Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company-owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 500 airlines, a million lodgings, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel, and other travel and add-on ancillaries.  About Amadeus: Travel powers progress. Amadeus powers travel. Amadeus’ solutions connect travelers to the journeys they want through travel agents, search engines, tour operators, airlines, airports, hotels, cars and railways. We have developed our technology in partnership with the travel industry for over 30 years. We combine a deep understanding of how people travel with the ability to design and deliver the most complex, trusted, critical systems our customers need. In 2019, we helped connect over 1.9 billion people to local travel providers in over 190 countries. We have a global mindset and a local presence wherever our customers need us. Our purpose is to shape the future of travel. We are passionate in our pursuit of better technology that makes better journeys. Amadeus is an IBEX 35 company, listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under AMS.MC. The company has also been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last ten years.To find out more about Amadeus, visit www.amadeus.com.

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