The New Business Travel Mega Merger



Paul Abbott at GBTA Kit Fanner

Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at a corporate travel mega merger, Boeing’s C-suite shuffle, and Booking.com’s sustainability retreat.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, March 26. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Amex GBT announced plans on Monday to acquire CWT for $570 million, a deal that would combine two of the world’s largest corporate travel agencies. Travel Technology Reporter Justin Dawes explains why Amex GBT executives are pushing for the megadeal. 

Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott said acquisitions are a key part of its growth strategy, noting the combined company would generate revenue of at least $3 billion. Abbott added acquiring CWT would strengthen several areas of Amex GBT, citing CWT’s footprint in industries such as the media, entertainment and sports. 

In addition, Amex GBT also said the acquisition would help produce savings of $155 million within three years. 

Next, Boeing’s senior leadership team is undergoing a major overhaul. CEO Dave Calhoun announced he’s leaving the role at the end of the year, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith and Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

In addition to Calhoun stepping down, Commercial Airplanes Division CEO Stan Deal is retiring while board chair Larry Kellner will not run for re-election. Those senior personnel changes come as Boeing has experienced a rough start to 2024, including a blowout aboard an Alaska Airlines flight in January. Smith and Maharishi note that major airline CEOs and the U.S. government have been increasingly critical of Boeing in recent weeks. 

Finally, Booking.com is ending a program that highlighted properties the company believed were standouts in sustainability, writes Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.  

Dutch regulators said that Amsterdam-based Booking.com’s “Travel Sustainable” program, which awarded certain properties green leaves as badges, was possibly misleading. Dutch officials said properties might be conducting sustainable practices that weren’t recognized. Booking.com reported last year that more than 100,000 properties on its site had received a Travel Sustainable badge. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos



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