Expedia-owned travel management company Egencia this week announced the launch of the iPad version of its TripNavigator app.
In addition to enabling standard flight search and booking, the iPad app for U.S. users incorporates "personalized" results based on "preferences and past trips," Egencia noted. In North America, the app enables flight cancellations and, in the United States, flight exchanges. Core features include flight check-in and flight status alerts. Features for hotels include map-based search, booking and last-minute deals. The iPad app also includes Egencia's AssistMe features, including click-to-call, as well as an agent callback
service in North America.
Germanwings owner Lufthansa Group, in coordination with industry and government regulators, adopted a rule
in which "two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight," according to the airline group, which also owns Austrian, Brussels and Swiss airlines. Based on various media reports, airlines across the world—including easyJet, Air Canada, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic—have adopted such rules in the wake of a Germanwings crash this week, purportedly at the hands of a co-pilot who locked himself in the cockpit. Government authorities from Europe to Canada also are reported to have initiated or are considering such a requirement of carriers, already effective in the United States.
The number of international air passengers traveling in premium classes worldwide in January increased by a "weak" 2.6 percent year over year,
according to the International Air Transport Association. IATA noted the "growth trend in premium international travel has flattened over the past several months," citing a "gradual slowdown in improvements in business confidence" in the second half of 2014, "with economic conditions in the eurozone and China deteriorating." Yet, IATA indicated the latest data suggested "signs of a pickup in business confidence in the eurozone and U.S., which could help ease some of the downward pressure on business-related international air travel." The largest percentage growth in January premium traffic occurred on Middle East-Far East (12.3 percent), Mid Atlantic (11 percent) and Europe-Middle East (10.2 percent) routes. Premium traffic on the heavily traveled North Atlantic, which connects North America and Europe, rose 3.7 percent year over year in January. International economy traffic, meanwhile, was up 3.8 percent year over year in January, according to IATA data.
GroundLink appointed two regional sales managers.
Following stints at Oracle and Concur, Michael Humbard joined as Mid-Atlantic regional sales manager. Tim Schwab, former founder and CEO of sales automation firm Sales Beach, joined as Western regional sales manager. Both report to chief sales officer Michael Mooradian. Headquartered in New York, the ground transportation network and technology platform has regional sales offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
February air transactions processed by mega travel agencies and settled through ARC increased 0.1 percent year over year,
according to ARC data. Mega agencies include American Express, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Egencia, HRG and Omega World Travel. "Online" agencies as a group, including Orbitz for Business and Travelocity Business, witnessed a 10.1 percent rise in February ARC air transactions, while the group of travel agencies classified by ARC as "other" posted a 5.3 percent increase in transactions. Total February U.S. travel agency air ticket transactions rose 4.7 percent year over year, according to ARC.