Upgrade Of U.K.'s Evolvi Includes Launch Of Rail Booking App - Business Travel News

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Upgrade Of U.K.'s Evolvi Includes Launch Of Rail Booking App

February 09, 2012 - 11:10 AM ET

By Amon Cohen

United Kingdom-based rail booking tool Evolvi launched a mobile application that allows travelers to book within corporate policy and collect their tickets at a railway station. Travel charges can be attributed through the app to the appropriate cost center.

The app comprises part of what Evolvi called its most significant upgrade since its launch six years ago. Other improvements include the addition of a pre-trip approval function, the ability to create multi-sector and open-jaw itineraries, and instant ticket fulfillment. Previously, tickets could not be collected until two hours after the reservation was confirmed.

Revenues at Evolvi in 2011 rose 9 percent year over year to £286 million, while transactions rose 10 percent to 4.7 million. The average fare purchased by Evolvi users fell marginally to £60.85, despite the 6.2 percent increase in published fares U.K. rail companies enacted in the beginning of 2011. "While part of this was likely due to businesses placing further restrictions on first-class travel in times of austerity—as happened in 2010—I believe it is also a clear reflection of the much smarter approach being taken to rail travel procurement," said Evolvi managing director Ken Cameron.

According to Evolvi, more than 60 percent of travel management company clients in the U.K. now book their rail through an online reservations tool, with total online bookings through TMCs amounting to a little under £600 million last year.

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