TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
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.
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.
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.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
Taconic Capital Advisors LP and HEI Hotels & Resorts | December 05, 2022
Taconic Capital Advisors LP (“Taconic”) and HEI Hotels & Resorts (“HEI”), announced that they have jointly acquired Hyatt Regency Jersey City from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Veris Residential Inc. (NYSE: VRE). The property is a full-service, 351-key hotel located adjacent to Exchange Place situated on a pier extending over the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.In conjunction with the purchase, Taconic and HEI were successful in assuming a $100 million fixed-rate CMBS mortgage with ample remaining term. The hotel was completed in 2002 and more than $15 million in subsequent upgrades have been performed since 2010. Major enhancements to the guestrooms, food and beverage outlets and event spaces are expected to commence under the new ownership.
Hyatt Regency Jersey City occupies fee simple real estate with unmatched and undisturbed views of the Manhattan Skyline. The property features well-appointed guestrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, a restaurant and lounge and 20,000 square feet of meeting space that has long served as a popular venue for corporate retreats, weddings, and social gatherings. The hotel is centrally positioned amongst 28 million SF of office space within a one-mile radius and is conveniently located near world-famous attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial.
“We are pleased to further our partnership with HEI and begin an exciting relationship with Hyatt. Hyatt Regency Jersey City was a compelling opportunity to acquire a world-class hotel with a strong segmentation mix and a diverse set of revenue contributors, The highly accretive assumable financing allowed us to continue our thesis for well-located urban, upscale hotels in an otherwise prohibitive financing environment.”
-Andrew Lam, a Director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group
Hyatt Regency Jersey City is a wonderful property with a rich legacy that has greatly benefitted from Jersey City’s rapidly expanding corporate base as well as the revitalization of Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan, said Clark Hanrattie, Partner at HEI. We are proud to team with Taconic on this important transaction and we are looking forward to making the hotel the very best it can be.
The joint acquisition of Hyatt Regency Jersey City follows Taconic and HEI’s March 2022 purchase of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY, a 15-acre property that offers 444 guestrooms and 21 event rooms for a total of 26,700 SF of conference and meeting space, including a 9,000 SF ballroom. Over the past two years, Taconic has been involved in hotel transactions throughout the capital structure, spanning over 20 properties totaling more than 5,000 keys.
About Taconic Capital Advisors
Taconic Capital Advisors (“Taconic”) is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The firm has approximately $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong and more than 100 employees worldwide.
Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s brand mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which include local operating partners, investor partners, and a broad network of lenders, CMBC special servicers, trading desks, and brokerage houses.
Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across approximately 175 distinct transactions.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
Founded in 1985, HEI is an established expert on Luxury, Upper-Upscale, and Upscale hotels in Urban, Super-Suburban, and destination Resort locations across branded, soft-branded and independent lifestyle categories. The company’s portfolio currently includes 90-plus assets, representing more than 28,000 keys across approximately 30 different capital partners. HEI continues to be one of the most active investors in, and managers of, institutional-quality hotel assets across the US.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Spotnana and American Airlines | September 12, 2022
Spotnana, the modern infrastructure for the travel industry, announced it has developed an advanced integration into American Airlines direct channels that supports personalized travel offers. Travelers booking trips through Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service Platform can now access NDC enhanced offerings for greater selections including additional booking flexibility and conveniences as well as seamless loyalty program enrollment and membership benefits We’re excited to partner with American Airlines to build the deepest integration that has existed to date between an airline and a travel platform,” said Sarosh Waghmar, co-founder and CEO of Spotnana.
NDC was introduced to the travel industry 10 years ago and has seen minimal adoption for corporate travel. We aim to change that by providing the industry with a new modern, cloud-based infrastructure designed to connect the travel ecosystem and deliver a new generation of personalized travel experiences.
Spotnana’s integration with American Airlines enables a more seamless, tailored booking experience and offers customers exclusive access to a diverse suite of products and services that elevate the travel journey. Key benefits for corporations accessing American’s modern retail offerings through Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service Platform include:
Enhanced offerings for great selections – Travelers gain access to products exclusively available through American’s NDC and direct channels, including but not limited to Main Plus and Flagship® Business Plus™.
Seamless loyalty program enrollment – Travelers can join American’s AAdvantage® loyalty program with one-click enrollment at time of booking and receive relevant shopping results tailored to AAdvantage® membership benefits.
Additional booking flexibility and conveniences – Travelers can purchase ancillary products in advance, modify or cancel trips on a self-service basis, view corporate negotiated rates, and unlock access to Preferred and Paid seats via a comprehensive seat map.
“The Spotnana platform utilizes American’s enhanced direct connection to deliver a more seamless booking experience for customers Our corporate customers who book through Spotnana will now have access to a modern retailing experience, inclusive of elevated offers, benefits, and ancillaries they value through a single, corporate-approved online booking tool.”
-Neil Geurin, Managing Director of Airline Retailing at American Airlines
We’re grateful to work so closely with American Airlines, who is a true industry innovator and pioneer,”said Bill Brindle, VP of Travel Operations at Spotnana. This integration is just the beginning of what is possible through our open Travel-as-a-Service Platform, and the first of many direct connections we plan to build with the world’s leading travel suppliers.
Spotnana powers unparalleled global travel experiences. We are modernizing the infrastructure of the travel industry in order to bring freedom, simplicity, and trust to travelers everywhere. Our Travel-as-a-Service Platform makes travel simpler and more affordable for corporations, while enabling our ecosystem of agency, supplier, and technology provider partners to increase operational efficiency, unlock new revenue sources, and accelerate innovation. To learn more, visit spotnana.com.