BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
STAR ALLIANCE CEO”s held their bi-annual gathering at Kyoto last week directly after the IATA gathering in Tokyo. The world”s press were invited to meet them on a very informal basis at nearby Nagoya which also afforded an opportunity to see the remarkable Central Japan International Airport, only opened in February and built on a man-made island (more in a later edition of ABTN). With two confirmed new members South African Airways and SWISS the Star Alliance network will in future cover some 846 destinations in 151 countries, with the 18-member carriers operating nearly 16,000 flights per day. Speaking to the media Graham Atkinson, the former British Caledonian sales director and now United”s senior vice president, worldwide sales and alliances, based in Chicago, explained a new initiative. This, he said, was aimed at reducing the costs to the airlines of the present GDS (global distribution system) method for the travel trade to purchase airline seats which cost the carriers about $12 a ticket through Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Worldspan and others. Called GNEs (Global Network Electronic systems) the plan is to trim down the figure to $2 per transaction, substantially reducing the $2bn currently being spent annually by STAR members. The alliance expects to issue a request for information (RFI) later this month, spelling out what members want from a GDS and asking both alternative and traditional GDS suppliers to respond with initiatives.