TripActions Launches Virtual Card Product for Corporate Travelers

Skift | February 25, 2020

As the global battle for the lower end of the corporate travel management market rages on, top players are beginning to move beyond travel itself into solving problems above just booking and servicing. TripActions has been steadily growing its travel management platform and now boasts a global workforce of more than 1,000 as it moves into markets around the world. Its new product looks beyond travel to help both travelers and administrator handle one of the most annoying parts of corporate travel: payments.

Spotlight

When it comes to hospitality, trends are everything. In a seasonal industry dependent on so many unpredictable variables, estimating future demand based on the insights we have today has enabled hoteliers to minimize wastage and maximize profits. Fundamental to this process is keeping abreast of the latest trends. In the travel environment, it’s not uncommon to see ephemeral as well as everlasting trends.

Spotlight

When it comes to hospitality, trends are everything. In a seasonal industry dependent on so many unpredictable variables, estimating future demand based on the insights we have today has enabled hoteliers to minimize wastage and maximize profits. Fundamental to this process is keeping abreast of the latest trends. In the travel environment, it’s not uncommon to see ephemeral as well as everlasting trends.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Priceline Introduces Summer Sale and Expanded Loyalty Program

Priceline | June 20, 2022

Priceline is launching its Summer Sale on June 20 to help travelers save on summer vacations. It shared the most affordable destination for the 4th of July holiday. In addition, it has also expanded its VIP Loyalty program called VIP Family. "This summer, the travel industry is experiencing a significant boom, and we want to help ensure that our customers are getting the best deals, despite current economic stressors like inflation With our everyday deals, Summer Sale and VIP program we're helping fight back against inflation to make travel more affordable and accessible." -Brett Keller, CEO of Priceline With the VIP Family program, travelers can access savings three times faster. VIP members save 50% more than non-members on hotels. They can also get access to exclusive discounts, coupons and travel perks. The program is free, and all the travelers need to do is sign up to enjoy the benefits. Each member gets a private account, and three users can pool their status by creating a VIP Family. Individual family members’ completed trip totals are tallied into one status level so that the families can attain a higher status and unlock more benefits faster. The higher the status, the more the members can save. For the Fourth of July getaway, Priceline has offered the following deals: Domestic Dallas, Texas ($133) Houston, Texas ($135) Bloomington, Minnesota ($135) Charlotte, North Carolina ($148) Kissimmee, Florida ($151) International Calgary, Canada ($127) Milan, Italy ($145) Prague, Czech Republic ($146) Istanbul, Turkey ($147) Athens, Greece ($154) As a part of the Summer Sale, Priceline has these deals: Save $20 on Express Deals® hotels when spending at least $125. Code: SUMMER2022 Dates: June 20 to June 28 Save $100 on Express Deals® hotels when spending at least $500. Code: SUMMER100 Dates: From June 29 to July 4

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

JetBlue Introduces ‘Sustainable Travel Partners’ Program Empowering Corporate Customers to Enhance the Sustainability of their Business Travel

JetBlue Airways | January 06, 2022

JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced the launch of its “JetBlue Sustainable Travel Partners” program, and its inaugural customers, Biogen, Deloitte, ICF, and Salesforce, a suite of offerings to help corporate travel customers reduce their business travel emissions and meet their own corporate sustainability targets. In keeping with JetBlue’s customer focus, the airline is approaching sustainable travel as a partnership by providing its corporate travelers with personalized data and resources to help them enhance the sustainability of their travel. JetBlue has a long history of taking meaningful and measurable steps in reducing aviation’s contribution to climate change and is now inviting its corporate partners to join in this mission.he Sustainable Travel Partners program offers corporate partners the following resources: Business travel emissions reduction through the offering of JetBlue generated sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates Complimentary carbon offsetting on all domestic flights operated by JetBlue Personalized travel data and analysis for more accurate emissions reporting Consultation and tools for custom planning and target-setting to support in making more sustainable travel decisions JetBlue Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Certificates SAF is a synthetic jet fuel produced from renewable biological resources that can be replenished rapidly and without impacting food supply. Compared to traditional petroleum-based Jet-A fuel, SAF can emit up to 80 percent less CO2 over its lifecycle when used in neat form and reduces air pollutants such as particulate matter and sulfur oxides. SAF drops into existing engines and infrastructure and is ASTM certified when blended up to 50-50 with fossil Jet-A fuel. With more than a 10 year track record of safe use in aircraft, SAF is recognized as the most promising solution to mitigate air transport emissions currently available. JetBlue has been flying regularly on SAF as a component of its fuel supply from its partners Neste out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) since July 2020 and World Energy (SAF producer) and World Fuel Services (logistics supplier) out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) since July 2021. JetBlue recently shared industry-leading plans to speed up its transition to SAF with a deal with its partner SG Preston that will bring 67 million gallons of blended SAF a year to the Northeast over 10 years. Following this agreement, JetBlue leads the airline industry in committed SAF off-take based on a percentage of total fuel at roughly 8% and is on track to meet its goal of converting 10% of its total fuel use to SAF years ahead of its 2030 target. Through the purchase of SAF certificates, JetBlue customers now have the ability to directly and meaningfully reduce their business travel emissions. Business travel emissions, categorized as “Scope 3” emissions, are indirect emissions customers are not directly responsible for but that exist within the value chain, such as those produced through corporate travel. By purchasing SAF certificates, our corporate customers may reduce their reported carbon footprint, while helping cover the cost premium of SAF that exists today - thereby growing the share of SAF JetBlue is able to source while helping stimulate the emerging SAF market that is critical for the aviation industry to reach its net zero goals. Through the Sustainable Travel Partners program, our partners are helping source roughly 325,000 gallons of SAF, helping reduce 2,730 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Complimentary Domestic Carbon Offsetting In July 2020, JetBlue became the first US airline to voluntarily offset the CO2 emissions from jet fuel for all its domestic flights. All of JetBlue’s purchased carbon offsets are audited, verified and retired on the airline’s behalf from its three expert carbon offsetting partners Carbonfund.org, EcoAct, and South Pole. As part of its offsetting portfolio, JetBlue selects projects around the globe focused on forestry, landfill gas capture, solar, and wind projects that reduce or avoid CO2 emissions. As Sustainable Travel Partners, JetBlue’s customers can benefit from enhanced reporting on our complimentary carbon offsets, as well as review opportunities to expand offsetting utilizing JetBlue’s offsetting expertise and business partners. Emissions Travel Data and Analysis Historically, business travelers have not had the ability to estimate their air travel emissions in a personalized, accurate, or granular way. Through the Sustainable Travel Partners program, JetBlue is saving partners the effort of inaccurate guesswork by offering emissions reporting based on travelers’ actual flying and JetBlue’s average actual fuel burn on those routes. JetBlue’s intent is to provide our partners with more accurate emissions reporting by sharing actual operational data, as well as incorporating the airline’s own emissions reduction initiatives into emissions reporting. JetBlue is also working to include travel emissions data into Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud with hopes of making this available to the airline’s Sustainable Travel Partners. For corporate customers who purchase SAF certificates, JetBlue will also provide emissions reporting highlighting the estimated emissions reduction associated with the SAF. Sustainable Tools and Consultation JetBlue Sustainability and Corporate Sales representatives have developed guidance and are available for personalized conversations to help JetBlue’s business customers develop strategies to reduce their emissions associated with their organization’s business travel. This includes helping set emissions reduction targets associated with their business travel and recommending actions to promote more sustainable travel decisions to achieve these goals. “As our business customers return to the skies, they increasingly have been asking for our support in meeting their net zero and sustainable travel goals,JetBlue has extensive expertise in decarbonizing air travel thanks to our early and leading commitments and supply agreements. We’re now extending these options to our corporate customers so that, for the first time, they can play a direct role in enhancing the sustainability of their air travel when flying with JetBlue. We’re proud to introduce the Sustainable Travel Partners program to help our business customers set and achieve their sustainable travel targets.” -Sara Bogdan, director of sustainability and environmental social governance, JetBlue. Partner Quotes Climate action is essential for human and planetary wellbeing,” says Alphonse Galdes, Ph.D., Head of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology at Biogen. “Yet, if we hope to make a substantive impact in this area, we all must come together – across industries – to re-examine the way we work, the way we live and the way we consume energy. By becoming an inaugural member of JetBlue's Sustainable Travel Partner Program, we at Biogen are proud to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and their associated impacts, as well as utilize more accurate data to inform travel decisions in the future. “Deloitte is committed to driving responsible climate choices, By coming together with JetBlue, we are another step closer to reducing our travel emissions and achieving a more sustainable future.” -Scott Corwin, Managing Director and US Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change at Deloitte LLP As the first professional services firm in the world to reach carbon neutral status in 2006, sustainability is part of our company’s DNA,” said ICF President, Chair and CEO John Wasson. “As we continue to pursue our own ambitious carbon reduction targets, we’re thrilled to partner with JetBlue to help other companies achieve their sustainability targets, too. We are proud to join JetBlue's Sustainable Travel Partners program to help accelerate the aviation industry's journey to net zero," said Patrick Flynn, VP and Global Head of Sustainability at Salesforce. "The urgency of this climate emergency means we need all-of-the-above strategies. For us that includes helping incentivize emerging clean technologies like Sustainable Aviation Fuels and working with partners like the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance to lower barriers to scale and cost reduction. JetBlue’s Decarbonization Strategy JetBlue is taking bold steps to address its emissions and reduce its contribution to climate change. In 2020, JetBlue became the first US airline to voluntarily offset CO2 emissions on all its domestic flights. To date, the airline has offset more than 6 million metric tons of CO2. Upon launching this initiative, JetBlue has been very transparent that it views carbon offsetting as a short-term solution while the industry builds up lower-carbon solutions. The airline has therefore been very aggressive in growing solutions that have a more direct reduction in air travel emissions, such as making large commitments to the purchase of SAF. JetBlue recently shared plans to speed up its transition to SAF with a deal that will bring 67 million gallons of SAF a year to the Northeast over 10 years, putting the airline well ahead of pace to reach its target to convert 10 percent of its total fuel usage to SAF on a blended basis by 2030. While JetBlue views SAF and carbon offsetting as promising solutions in addressing aircraft emissions, these are just two pieces of JetBlue’s larger decarbonization strategy, which currently also includes aircraft efficiency, fuel optimization, electric ground operations and technology partnerships. Industry Collaboration The Sustainable Travel Partners Program represents the next step as JetBlue collaboratively works with its many partners to accelerate solutions to decarbonize aviation. In November, JetBlue announced it had joined Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), a joint initiative with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and a forward-looking group of corporate travelers and U.S. airlines to help drive investment in high-integrity SAF. In October, JetBlue joined as a launch member of the Aviation Climate Taskforce, a new non-profit organization founded to accelerate breakthroughs in emerging technologies to decarbonize aviation, alongside 9 other global airlines and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). JetBlue’s Focus on the Environment JetBlue depends on natural resources and a healthy environment to keep its business running smoothly. Natural resources are essential for the airline to fly, and tourism relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue's sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help reduce the airline’s carbon output and overall environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.jetblue.com/sustainability. About JetBlue Airways 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 across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, and between New York and London. For more information, visit jetblue.com.To join JetBlue’s Sustainable Travel Partner program, visit https://www.jetblue.com/sustainability/sustainable-travel-partners.For more information on JetBlue’s sustainability and ESG strategy, read the 2019-2020 ESG Report which can be found here.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Decline in business travel could be permanent, analyst Beroe finds

Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority | August 10, 2021

Corporate business travel on airlines is expected to shrink by as much as 19 percent, and that decline could become permanent, an analysis from Raleigh-headquartered Beroe, Inc. found. “When travel restrictions were imposed worldwide, businesses replaced direct meetings with virtual ones to contain the pandemic’s spread. Many businesses adapted to virtual meetings and have realized that not all meetings must be in-person. Businesses have also realized huge cost savings on air travel spend,” said Anusree Mohan, senior analyst at Beroe, in a statement. “In the future, airline travel will be a more mindful and thought-out way of traveling, allowing employees to have a better life balance and employers to have a better return on investment.” Prior to the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, business travelers represented about half of airline revenue, or about 1.7% of total global GDP, according to Beroe. But with businesses seeking cost-saving measures, and integrating virtual meeting tools to conduct meetings, Beroe analysts are predicting short- and long-term effects on air travel. “Businesses have suffered around the world in this pandemic. Thus, cost-cutting will remain their prime focus at least for the coming few years. And this will mean fewer corporate air travels,” said Anusree Mohan, Senior Analyst at Beroe. “Employee travel rate will decrease as corporate customers will remain concerned about health and safety.” At Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU), air traffic consisted of about 50% leisure and 50% business travel, spokesperson Stephanie Hawco told WRAL TechWire. “The leisure market is recovering faster than the business market,” said Hawco. “Our current mix is about 65% leisure and 35% business.” At the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, and soon after, a dramatic reduction in air travel occurred at RDU, Hawco told WRAL TechWire in March. Compared to 2019, when about 14 million passengers traveled through the airport, 5 million traveled through the airport in 2020, Hawco noted. Air travel through RDU is steadily increasing, Hawco said. The latest available data, from June 2021, released by the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, showed that June travel set a new passenger traffic peak since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The airport saw more than 887,000 guests pass through the airport in June, nearly a 15 percent increase over May traffic levels.

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