TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Travel tech Start-Up Bookaway Secures USD 46 million in Investor Funding

Bookaway | July 17, 2021

Start-up in travel technology Bookaway has secured USD46 million in venture capital from Aleph, Corner Ventures, and Entrée Capital to establish the Bookaway Group, which will bring together ground and sea transportation companies from across the world.

The group has collaborated to digitalize the USD 157 billion sector, where 95% of activities remain offline (local buses, trains, ferries.) As a result, local suppliers can connect and reach even more travelers by offering an online platform for up-to-date information, reviews, and booking while increasing access to every part of the globe (over 100,000 routes and counting).

Getbybus, known for providing tens of thousands of routes in and around the Balkans and Western Europe, is the first to join the Bookaway Group, followed by 12Go, which has the biggest network of local transport choices in and around South East Asia. The Bookaway Group, in collaboration with Bookaway, provides access to more than 100,000 transit routes, user evaluations, and round-the-clock assistance in 14,600 locations across 80 countries.

The Bookaway Group aims to bridge the global gap between travelers and local transportation providers, allowing travelers to discover and book transportation options anywhere in the world, regardless of the language they speak or how remote the location is.

Bookaway has grown from a tiny Tel Aviv start-up to one of the world's top ground transportation companies in less than four years, with plans to expand further in the United States, China, and Latin America.

Since 2018, Bookaway has secured USD 35 million in Series B funding to establish the Bookaway Group, following USD 11 million in Seed and Series A funding. Aleph, a major Israeli investor, has been a loyal supporter since 2019.

Spotlight

Renowned as the sporting and cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne, situated on the southeastern fringe of the continent’s landmass, is the capital of the smallest state in Australia, Victoria. But, that’s about the only thing small about this city – in every other way Melbourne is BIG…not only is it the sporting and cultural hub of Australia, it is the de facto capital of this amazing continent/country!Step into Melbourne and there’s something new to see and experience around every corner! Museums, galleries, architecture, nature’s splendor, the best cuisines, wines and beers to be found on this planet…the list is endless!

Spotlight

Renowned as the sporting and cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne, situated on the southeastern fringe of the continent’s landmass, is the capital of the smallest state in Australia, Victoria. But, that’s about the only thing small about this city – in every other way Melbourne is BIG…not only is it the sporting and cultural hub of Australia, it is the de facto capital of this amazing continent/country!Step into Melbourne and there’s something new to see and experience around every corner! Museums, galleries, architecture, nature’s splendor, the best cuisines, wines and beers to be found on this planet…the list is endless!

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

HRS Offering Advanced Procurement Consulting and Technology to Hotels to Support Expedited RFP Response for Returning Corporate Volume

HRS | August 01, 2022

HRS, the leading global corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the offering of its full range of consulting services to the hotel community in the coming months to support a revitalized corporate lodging ecosystem. Beyond data-driven consultation that reflects the hotel priorities of its corporate clients, HRS automation gives hotel sales teams the ability to access and more efficiently bid for corporate volume – all at a time when more corporate programs are using the RFP process to negotiate not only rates, but other elements vital to business travelers as they get back on the road.HRS, playing its part to facilitate corporate lodging’s recovery, is offering this unique package of localized consulting, unlimited bid refinement and RFP support at no charge to the hotel community. Among its growing client base, HRS works with 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies on their hotel programs. “It’s a new time for hotel corporate sales leaders. Travel patterns and dynamics are different, as are the definitions of 'travel' and 'workspace' for corporations, With volume rebounding and companies honing in on regional and national projections, married with the reality of diminished resources at many hotels, HRS is stepping up to help facilitate more opportunities for hotels to bid. Our unbiased RFP technology, data-driven analysis, and experts on the ground in key markets stand ready to help relevant hoteliers compete for these room nights.” -Lukasz Dabrowski, HRS’ senior vice president of global supplier relations. Optimized Tools Help Hoteliers Analyze & Refine Corporate Volume Bids HRS technology – with elements built specifically to aid hotels as they contend for corporate volume – is especially helpful for hoteliers at a time when companies are increasing their submission of RFPs and hotel sales teams are being re-built in the wake of the pandemic. In this fluid environment, it allows hoteliers 24x7 access to refine, revise and re-submit bid terms – all at no cost – as appropriate during the negotiation window. Other time-saving highlights include: Optimized bid submission processes that illustrate the progress towards completion of the submission, mandatory elements, and more Ability to anonymously view elements of competing hotel bids Multiple pre-filled fields in RFPs, reducing the time it takes for hoteliers to respond Simplified user-flow that addresses evolving corporate requests Efficient avenues to address the convergence of RFPs for different segments Transformative Attribute-Based Lodging Procurement, as Priorities and Process Have Evolved As new patterns come to light in the nascent post-pandemic corporate lodging arena, HRS is combining the buying concepts for transient, group, meetings and new Longstay segments to showcase the totality of anticipated client spend. Reflecting the new priorities of corporations – ranging beyond simple rates and amenities – HRS is helping hoteliers align with the most important elements of modern corporate hotel programs. This is particularly vital given the unforeseen elements impacting corporate travel procurement in varying locations, including items such as pandemic outbreaks, political instability, environmental changes and weather-related catastrophes. The “5S framework,” introduced by HRS in 2021, has proven effective in capturing the evolving scope of new requirements from the vast majority of corporate hotel programs. HRS is educating its hotel partners about the 5S framework and how addressing these elements on an ongoing basis can help hoteliers win more recurring volume. The 5S framework covers: Safety Satisfaction Savings Sustainability Security HRS is committed to working transparently with corporations and hotels to drive more automated, expedient negotiations, concludes Dabrowski. There is no longer a 'RFP Season' per se. Instead, automation is driving shortened four-week cycles that allow corporations to be nimbler and more targeted in their procurement activities all year long. Mix that in with prioritized hygiene and sustainability requirements, and hotels are competing in a totally transformed procurement process. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

OAG Delivers Access to Entire Flight Lifecycle Through Versatile Data Platform

OAG | July 20, 2022

OAG, the world’s leading provider of travel data and insight, announces the release of Flight Status Data into its Flight Info Direct solution, delivering instant access to the full lifecycle of a flight. Powered by its Snowflake-enabled data platform OAG Metis, Flight Info Direct currently provides instant access to OAG’s high-value database, including Global Airline Schedules Data, Emissions Data, and Connections Data. Starting today, the release of Flight Status Data will give customers a seamless view of a flight – from its planned schedule to when it lands at its destination. As demand for high-value insights and operational data soars, being able to view flight data as one by accessing, integrating and blending it into other sources will deliver valuable business benefits and efficiencies to customers, such as removing the silos of legacy systems, delivering end-to-end journey data, and rectifying reconciliation and quality issues. “Our accelerated solutions and partnerships with leading technology platforms Snowflake and Microsoft Azure make us the perfect partner to help our customers rise above a complex legacy technology landscape, The scale of data-driven opportunities across the entire travel ecosystem – search and booking, hospitality, payments and retail, and more – is enormous. Our versatile, cloud-based data platform seamlessly connects the ecosystem together, and all in one view, to help our customers grow, streamline their operations, and work flexibly at scale.” -Phil Callow, CEO at OAG This recent release of data onto the platform is the latest evolution of OAG’s product-led growth journey to connect ecosystems and markets with data that empowers better decision-making and innovation. Callow adds, We are moving the industry forward by providing frictionless access to high-quality travel data. Being able to view holistic flight data information with the best technology available is a sizeable shift away from the old schedules and status silos of the past. OAG has customers across the entire travel ecosystem and is embedded in booking engines, travel and hospitality apps, airline apps, online travel agencies, metasearch, search engines, and flight tracking apps.To learn more about Flight Status Data, visit https://www.oag.com/status-direct About OAG OAG is the leading data platform for the global travel industry, powering the growth and innovation of the air travel ecosystem since 1929. Headquartered in the UK, OAG has operations in the USA, Singapore, Japan, China and Lithuania., Visit: www.oag.com and follow us on Twitter @OAG Aviation.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice

Air Canada and United Airlines | July 25, 2022

Air Canada and United Airlines announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will be able to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of the most popular cities in Canada — all while enjoying the benefits of the carriers' MileagePlus® and Aeroplan loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and grow both carriers' networks and help accelerate their COVID-19 recovery. United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience and an improved airport experience, said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market. "With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada, As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel." -Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United. Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United's or Air Canada's websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two carriers will also be expanded and members of both the MileagePlus and Aeroplan programs will have more accrual and redemption options. In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats. Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity. Under the joint business agreement, subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements, the two airlines will now be able to, Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline's seat inventory. Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S. Sell seats on each other's transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities. Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers' frequent flyer programs. Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives. The implementation of an expanded partnership builds on the existing close cooperation of the two carriers and previously acquired regulatory approvals. United and Air Canada are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group. About Air Canada Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 86 internationally. It is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax, which in 2021 gave Air Canada awards for the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, and an excellence award for managing COVID-19. Through its leading travel loyalty Aeroplan program, Air Canada offers the ability to earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline. For more about how to join the United team, please visit www.united.com/careers and more information about the company is at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

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