Maritz Travel Co. today announced the final list of partners in the Maritz Global Meeting Network,
an initiative the company launched last October. Twenty-five professional congress organizers representing nearly 60 countries have joined Maritz to deliver consistent meetings products and services around the globe. A Maritz statement underscores that the partnership will facilitate better regional operations by keying into local cultures and preferences, as well as navigating complex business ethics, local government regulations and currencies.
Ireland-based low-cost carrier Ryanair signed a distribution agreement with Sabre
to make its fares and ancillary services available to agency subscribers in Europe. After a decade-long absence from the global distribution system channel, Ryanair in the past year struck content deals with Travelport and Amadeus. Like Ryanair's Amadeus and Travelport deals, Sabre’s agreement features no booking fees for subscribers, though some of Ryanair's low-tier fare classes, such as deeply discounted promotional fares, will be excluded.
Qatar Airways plans to begin in January 2016 daily flights between Doha and Los Angeles,
followed by daily service to Boston and Atlanta in
March and July 2016, respectively, the carrier announced Monday. The new
service would bring its total U.S. destinations to 10. Additionally, it in
March 2016 will add a second daily flight between Doha and New York's John F.
Kennedy International Airport. The three largest U.S. airlines have accused Qatar
Airways and two other Middle Eastern airlines of gaining unfair competitive advantages
via government subsidies and benefits. Qatar Airways and the others
Corporate payments provider Wex has expanded its virtual payments offering to 11 currencies for European customers,
according to the company. Issuance and settlement had been available only in euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds, but Wex added the currencies of Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. Wex Europe managing director Myles Stephenson said the ability to pay with a local currency "eliminates the risks of currency fluctuation, improves reconciliation in local currencies to ensure no variances and makes any card network charges fully transparent."
Hickory Global Partners partnered with value-added-tax reclamation provider Universal VAT Services
to take advantage of the fact that many foreign countries will refund such taxes to foreign travelers. "Our strategic alliance with UVS means that our agency members can present this revenue-generating solution for their corporate clients with employees traveling to countries that refund VAT, thereby potentially positively impacting their clients’ bottom lines,” noted Hickory president Chris Dane.
The U.S. departments of State, Transportation and Commerce are reviewing allegations that three Middle Eastern carriers
are receiving an unfair competitive edge via government subsidies and benefits. A coalition that includes American Airlines,
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have asked the U.S. government to review its
Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates after compiling a
detailing $42 billion in what they called subsidies and unfair
benefits to Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways. The three Gulf carriers
the U.S. carriers' claims. In a joint statement, the three U.S. agencies indicated
that they on Monday would begin accepting public comments on the matter, noting
that they "take
seriously the concerns raised in the report and [are] interested in receiving
insights and feedback from stakeholders before any decisions are made regarding
what action, if any, should be taken."