Business Travel Show Europe is the place where
September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
An impressive line-up of senior travel and corporate executives have rounded on the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Executives attending a travel summit in Finland revealed IATA rules cause more than one billion euros extra in costs annually due to outdated regulations. Keynote presenter Cheryl Hutchinson, chairwoman of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), said the cash haemorrhage brought no value to the business travel process.
"IATA was chartered in a time when each country had a national carrier, when borders were tightly controlled, and when protectionist measures were common," said Hutchinson. "We're at a different point in history now. The European Union was formed as a borderless economic power to stimulate trade. Outdated IATA regulations ” many written nearly 50 years ago ” do not support that concept."
IATA regulations also have an impact on companies in the US. Anyone travelling for a global company, or any multinational company, incurs unnecessary processing costs and additional ticketing expenses when booking outside the country. Hutchinson said ACTE is currently devising a model that will allow travel managers to plug in their data and determine this amount.
"Nearly all of the big names in our industry have developed elaborate ticketing and service delivery processes to work around IATA. This softens the blow to the corporate consumer," said Hutchinson. "But it doesn't go away. The demise of the airline commission system in Europe is peeling back the layers of the onion, and the true level of expense is emerging."
Hutchinson added technology exists that would enable companies to issue tickets in Europe from the US. "But the current regulations require us to have hardware, software, licenses, and layers of staffing in Europe," she said.
The European Commission's review process is somewhat complicated, hence slow. "It could take several years," said Hutchinson. "In the meantime, European businesses are losing a billion euros a year. And IATA doesn't see the need for speed." A previous ACTE proposal has yet to make it to their agenda.
ACTE is to campaign with senior managers, more concerned with their own businesses rather than the complexity of the travel process but very aware of costs. Many of the new budget airlines do not even belong to IATA. The International Air Transport Association celebrates its 60th year in 2004. If it wants to be around even in 10 years time it has got to take a careful look at itself.