We look at which major players and issues will be top of the agenda within business travel as well as the wider transport and infrastructure sectors during 2016 and beyond...
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SADIQ KHAN AND ZAC GOLDSMITH, MAYOR OF LONDON CANDIDATES
BARRING A HUGE SHOCK RESULT, the next mayor of London will either be the son of a London bus driver or the son of a billionaire tycoon.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith will battle it out at the next mayoral elections in May. The result could have sizeable consequences for business travel, with both candidates having strong views on the airport expansion debate and HS2. Incumbent mayor Boris Johnson has chosen not to run for re-election for a third term in office, having been elected as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
The yet-to-be elected London mayors were nominated by Business Travel Show CEO David Chapple, who said the winner will “have a big say” on the future of business travel infrastructure that not only affects London, but the whole of the UK.
CARSTEN SPOHR, CEO, LUFTHANSA
UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN UNDER A ROCK for the past 12 months, you couldn’t have failed to have heard about Lufthansa’s decision to shake up the way it approaches distribution. Industry events across Europe have been discussing the fallout from the German carrier’s resolve to charge €16 for every booking made through the global distribution system (GDS).
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr received a number of nominations to be included in this year’s list, with one saying: “This critical distribution shift represents the frustration with existing systems, and mirrors the rise of new technology entrants into the business travel sector.” It will be up to Spohr and his fellow board members to continue this innovation in distribution, but at the same time keep buyers on their side. Airline CEOs around the world will be watching and waiting...
JAMES WHARTON MP
IN 2014, CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE announced he wanted to rebalance the UK economy – which London “currently dominates” – and create a Northern Powerhouse. Osborne recognises the success of Northern cities individually, but wants to connect them together to help rival London.
The main element to his plan is transport, and central to that is High Speed 2, which will connect eight of the ten largest UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.
One of the people tasked with delivering Osborne’s plan is Conservative MP for Stockton South, James Wharton, who was given responsibility for delivering the Northern Powerhouse in the 2015 reshuffle. Over the next 12 months expect Wharton, 31, to feature prominently in news regarding the plans for rail contracts, growth at Manchester airport and the building of key motorway links.
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