INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Novacap Becomes a Major Investor in Plusgrade to Power the Growth of Critical Revenue Streams Through the Global Travel Industry

Novacap, Plusgrade | September 18, 2021

Gaining a foothold into the highly lucrative ancillary revenue market, leading Canadian private equity firm Novacap, announced today that it acquired a substantial equity interest in Montreal-based Plusgrade, the global market leader in upgrade technology and a key ancillary revenue partner for their more than 70 partners in air, cruise, and rail. 

Founded in 2009, Plusgrade helps airlines, cruise lines and rail operators manage and optimize revenue generated from seat upgrades and other premium services. Through the company's proprietary software-as-a-service platform, travel suppliers are able to capture incremental, high margin revenue from unsold inventory and enhance the passenger travel experience. Plusgrade's products are fully white labeled and integrated into existing reservation systems. Since its inception, Plusgrade has been responsible for generating billions of dollars of new revenue opportunity for leading travel suppliers in more than 50 countries.

"This new partnership is a testimony to Novacap's continued commitment to entrepreneurs and founders of innovative companies and to our desire to enable them to scale up and achieve significant growth," said Pascal Tremblay, President and CEO of Novacap. ''I am delighted to embark on this new phase of growth with our long-time partners at CDPQ, who have been instrumental in the success of Plusgrade over the last several years.''

"Plusgrade is a unique income generator that creates significant incremental revenue from missed opportunities, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of businesses, especially in today's transformed post Covid-19 market,'' said David Lewin, Senior Partner at Novacap. "Ken's leadership in creating and growing a new billion-dollar category positions Plusgrade as an incredible solution for its customers, able to meet demand on a global scale and assert the company's leadership in a niche industry with inherent long-term growth.''

"Our partnership with Novacap brings together their experience and industry insights with our hunger to strengthen our core and create new categories that drive meaningful ancillary revenue through incredible customer experiences," said Ken Harris, Founder and CEO of Plusgrade. "We look forward to Novacap joining our Board as we expand into exciting new products and verticals in the next year."

About Novacap
Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with more than C$8B of AUM that has invested in more than 100 platform companies and completed more than 150 add-on acquisitions. Applying its sector-focused approach since 2007 in TMT, Industries and now Financial Services, Novacap's deep domain expertise can accelerate company growth and create long-term value. With experienced, dedicated investment and operations teams as well as substantial funding, Novacap has the resources and knowledge to build world-class businesses. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Québec and Toronto, Ontario. www.novacap.ca

About Plusgrade
Plusgrade provides innovative revenue-generating solutions for the global travel industry. As the recognized leader in a key segment of the ancillary revenue and merchandising space, Plusgrade helps travel providers worldwide manage, optimize, and capture high-margin revenue generated from upgrades, unsold inventory, and other premium services. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in New York and Singapore, Plusgrade has created billions of dollars of new revenue opportunities for the more than 70 premier airlines, cruise lines and rail operators it serves across 50 countries. www.plusgrade.com

Spotlight

Tourism is an important sector for the Philippine economy. In 2015, the travel and tourism industry contributed 10.6% to the country's GDP.[3] the Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,641 islands with 82 provinces divided into 17 regions. The country is known for having its rich biodiversity as its main tourist attraction.[4] Its beaches, heritage towns and monuments, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and cultural heritage (which is a mix of Asian, European, and American heritage), including its festivals and indigenous traditions, is also one of the attractions of Philippines. Popular destinations among tourists are El Nido in Palawan, Davao, Boracay, Siargao, Cebu, Manila and many more.

Spotlight

Tourism is an important sector for the Philippine economy. In 2015, the travel and tourism industry contributed 10.6% to the country's GDP.[3] the Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,641 islands with 82 provinces divided into 17 regions. The country is known for having its rich biodiversity as its main tourist attraction.[4] Its beaches, heritage towns and monuments, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and cultural heritage (which is a mix of Asian, European, and American heritage), including its festivals and indigenous traditions, is also one of the attractions of Philippines. Popular destinations among tourists are El Nido in Palawan, Davao, Boracay, Siargao, Cebu, Manila and many more.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Space Perspective Becomes First Global Space Travel Experience Company

Space Perspective | November 16, 2022

Space Perspective unveiled MS Voyager – the world’s first Marine Spaceport for human spaceflight, and the first in a planned fleet of this new class of spaceports globally. Spaceports are sites for launching and receiving spacecraft. Now with the capacity to launch from marine-based sites around the world, in addition to launching from land on Florida’s Space Coast, Space Perspective becomes the first global space travel experience company, offering safe and sustainable journeys to the edge of space from where Explorers live and play.The name Voyager is an homage to the Voyager 1 Space Probe mission which, on astronomer Carl Sagan’s request, took a photo of Earth from across the solar system on February 14th, 1990. That photo, now known iconically as the Pale Blue Dot, inspired Sagan’s book of the same name and his call for humans to “preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known” – words that reverberate through Space Perspective’s mission today. “Space Perspective will change your relationship with our planet by providing the quintessential astronaut experience of viewing Earth from the blackness of space, It’s imperative for us to think about our business with a global mindset. Removing geographic borders for launch and landing accelerates our mission of making this transformative experience more accessible to the world and international marketplace – safely, reliably and with minimal impact on our planet.” -Jane Poynter, Space Perspective’s Founder and Co-CEO Plans are underway to integrate marine-based launches into marquee global events, and conversations are active with several potential destinations across the globe to offer Explorers an awe-inspiring view of some of the world’s most iconic geography. We always imagined offering the opportunity to view the most incredible natural phenomena from space, including the Northern Lights, the boot of Italy, the sheer scale of the Nile Delta, and the deep blue seas around the Bahamas. Marine Spaceports like MS Voyager make this a reality, said Poynter. MS Voyager and future Space Perspective Marine Spaceports give the company the operational flexibility needed to grow its business more quickly to reach a supply-constrained global market for commercial space travel that analysts recently estimated could reach over $8 billion by 2030[1]. Marine Spaceports create ideal launch conditions in two ways: by navigating to areas of good weather, which allows for year-round operations within a region, and by moving with the sea breeze, so there is virtually no wind across the deck. This enables more frequent launch opportunities, as well as more options for the time of day, including sunrise and sunset nighttime stargazing flights for Explorers. “This is another important milestone and a proud moment for the Space Perspective crew both in terms of pioneering engineering and the ability to scale our offer quickly, globally. We are grateful to our extended crew of dynamic, best-in-class operational partners,” -Space Perspective’s Founder, Co-CEO and CTO Taber MacCallum. Acquired from one of the world’s premier shipbuilders, Edison Chouest Offshore, MS Voyager’s marine operations will be supported by Guice Offshore. The 292-foot-long vessel, which will call Port Canaveral its home, is now being outfitted for launch, retrieval, and SpaceBalloon™ operations at Conrad Shipyard -- preparations for which were provided by Gulf Ship. In keeping with Space Perspective’s environmentally conscious ethos, offsets will be provided by Cool Effects, and the vessel itself is being retrofitted to use biofuel to reduce its carbon footprint. When it’s time to come back to Earth at the end of the journey in Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule, a patent-pending splash-cone at its base provides a smooth and gentle water landing. Fast boats from Fluid Watercraft will then arrive to stabilize the capsule, which will be lifted onto the Marine Spaceport by a custom-built A-frame provided by Supreme Integrated Technologies. Communications throughout the operation – between land, sea, and capsule – will be provided by Silvus Technologies, utilizing military-grade StreamCaster MANET radios and MN-MIMO waveform technology. We've always believed in Space Perspective's mission and the experience they are bringing to the world through human spaceflight. Unlocking the ability to scale globally with the addition of Marine Spaceports only strengthens the proposition and the power of the company to change people's lives and the future of our planet, said Brandon Ross, General Partner of LightShed Ventures, a major Space Perspective investor. MS Voyager will begin operations in the New Year, aligned to Space Perspective’s planned test flights that commence in early 2023. Space Perspective has sold over 1,000 tickets to date. Tickets are available to reserve now at their current price of $125,000 at SpacePerspective.com. For more information, visit SpacePerspective.com. Follow Space Perspective for updates on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Experience the capsule interior here. About Space Perspective Space Perspective is the world’s only carbon-neutral luxury spaceflight experience company. It invites more people than has historically been possible to experience a thrillingly new and visceral perspective that expands the human consciousness – the incredibly exhilarating panoramas and scale of Earth in space. The Observer cited Space Perspective as "the best suborbital space tourism offering in the world." Setting a new bar in out-of-this-world thrilling experiences, as soon as late 2024 Space Perspective plans to take Space Explorers to space inside Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance SpaceBalloonTM without using rocket fuel or high G forces. Space Explorers see the world anew through its vast windows, 450 miles in any direction. The ultra-comfortable, accessible, and gentle six-hour journey redefines space travel. Space Perspective is led by industry luminaries Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum and their unique-in-the-world expert crew who have been integral to all human SpaceBalloonTM flights, and marine launches over the last 50 years. Building on that experience, the Space Perspective crew has innovated and patented the safest spaceflight experience in the world. Poynter and MacCallum have been dubbed ‘Masters of the stratosphere’ by Bloomberg Businessweek. MacCallum also served as Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Spotnana and American Airlines Partner to Personalize Travel Offers

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. About Spotnana 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.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

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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