Travel and expense management provider KDS has expanded its team.
Kate Roe, based in London and Paris, is now vice president of marketing, responsible for KDS’s corporate strategy as it expands globally. She previously led the Europe, Middle East and Africa marketing team for Digital River, a commerce-as-a-service provider. She’s also held senior marketing roles at global distribution system Travelport and procurement management firm Ariba. KDS also appointed Gary West vice president of alliances. He previously headed Salesforce’s independent software vendor team for northern EMEA. Meanwhile, Alex Ott, a KDS board member since 2007, replaced Gilles Samoun as chairman.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel added new features to its mobile app.
On CWT To Go, travel arrangers and assistants now can view itinerary information for multiple travelers, monitor flights and send text messages to travelers. "The next stage, which is already in development, will include the ability to book travel and manage profiles for their travelers," CWT noted. The company also partnered with mapping firm Here to incorporate detailed maps for 350 airports in the latest release. The app update also included "an extension of the click-to-call service, making it even easier for travelers to get in touch with a counselor," according to CWT.
AccorHotels bought 29 Accor properties in Europe from other operators for €284 million.
It acquired 19 hotels in France from AXA Investment Managers for €56 million; six Novotel and Mercure hotels in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria from Invesco for €152 million; and four Novotel hotels in Spain from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management for €76 million. Accor expects the first two deals to close during the first half of 2016 and the third to be finalized this month. The transactions, which encompass 3,677 rooms, follow Accor's October purchase
of 43 Accor hotels from Foncière des Régions.
Thailand-based airlines cannot establish new service to the United States, including through codeshares,
now that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded the country's rating for civil aviation standards to Category 2. After an assessment in July and discussions with Thailand’s government through Oct. 28, the FAA determined that the country does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization safety standards. Category 2 countries can continue existing service to the United States, but Thailand’s only airline with a capable fleet, Thai Airways, ended its only U.S. service, to Los Angeles, in October. Thailand had maintained a Category 1 rating, indicating compliance with ICAO standards, since 1997.
Australia-based corporate travel tech firm Locomote named Sandra McLeod CEO, effective January.
CEO Philip Weinman will become vice chairman. McLeod was group vice president for global accounts and corporate sales at Travelport, which recently took a majority stake
in Locomote. In the wake of her departure, Travelport Americas group vice president and managing director Scott Hyden shifted to group vice president of Travelport's new enterprise customer group, which will fill McLeod’s former role with global travel management companies and corporate customers and will handle the company’s largest online travel agency customers. Travelport moved Bret Kidd to Hyden's former role, and Dan Westbrook replaced Kidd as vice president and general manager for Travelport's air commerce technologies business. In October, Travelport announced that Telefonica executive Stephen Shurrock would become executive vice president and chief commercial officer on Jan. 4, assuming the role held by Kurt Ekert.
Fourth-quarter reserved occupancy in the business transient segment at North American hotels is down 0.8 percent from the same period last year,
according to TravelClick. The average daily rate for that segment is up 2.7 percent. Group reserved occupancy is up 4.9 percent from last November’s review, and ADR is up 4.9 percent. Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2016, business transient committed occupancy is down 2 percent year over year, but ADR is up 11.7 percent. Similarly, committed occupancy in the group segment is down 1.2 percent, but ADR is up 6.5 percent. The November North American Hospitality Review looks at group sales commitments and individual reservations in 25 major North American markets booked by Nov. 1, 2015, for hotel stays from November 2015 to October 2016.
The International Air Transport Association is developing its own digital wallet
that will allow members to send and receive airline ticket payments, according to an IATA spokesperson. The “pay-as-you-go” solution, part of the New Generation of IATA Settlement Systems between airlines and both travel agents and freight forwarders, will not apply to Airlines Reporting Corp. settlements. IATA plans live pilots for 2016.