Business Travel Show Europe Kick Off, 23 February,
Global Travel Risk Summit Europe, May 2023,
3rd Annual Sustainable Business Travel Summit
Travel could soon be bought as a commodity on the futures market, Aaron Gellman, transport expert, told the ACTE global conference in Stockholm this week.“There will be a market where companies can invest heavily in lots of capacity on an airline or a hotel group for six, 12 to 18 months ahead where the inventory is held by the party which makes the investment.“Travel will be like other commodities, like grain. I predict this, I'm pretty confident about this,” the professor of management strategy at the transportation center, Kellogs School of management, Northwest University, said. “People in the industry should be aware of this. It will only take one airline or alliance to make a decision to start selling in futures.” Earlier in his keynote presentation, Mr Gellman said that after a trend of outsourcing travel, companies were now taking it back in house.“It's like buying any other commodity. They can turn it over to the purchasing department. It saves them the fees they paid for outsourcing and labour costs in the company are now the same as outside,” he said.With companies' travel budget now often bigger than when they took the decision to outsource, there was no longer a need to “aggregate” spend with other companies to get the best deals.“There is also a feeling that there is a reduced risk to data security,” Mr Gellman said.Another problem companies had found with outsourcing was that it made obtaining good performance measures more difficult.At the start of the session, Bruno Matheu, executive vice president marketing and network management for Air France, said the transport industry was facing its biggest ever crisis.After 9/11, “three years of traffic growth was simply erased and at the same time new models with minimum service and low fares had enlarged,” he said.Despite the growth of low cost carriers, Mr Matheu said that AF-KLM would continue its hub and spoke structure which provided efficient connectivity.