Supporting International Women’s Day

Global Travel Management embraces a gender free world of work.

We live what we hope the rest of the world should be able to imagine, ‘a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated’. These words are from the International Women’s Day website and they’re words we strive to ensure we meet, every day, at Global Travel Management.

For us, gender equality is ‘business as usual’. But we recognise that there are women around the world, and in other industries, for whom equality is far from normal.

So we have asked inspirational women leaders in the travel industry around the world to share their insights, what they do right and how they inspire their colleagues. We hope you enjoy, embrace and emulate these words so that, collectively, we can #BreakTheBias.

Bev Fearis
‘Over the years I have worked with some amazing people

Bev Fearis


The Business Travel Magazine

Bev Fearis is the Editor of The Business Travel Magazine, a multi-award-winning, bi-monthly, full-colour magazine – ‘a must-read for everyone involved with booking and managing business travel, ranging from Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants to full-time Travel Managers and procurement personnel’.

Who has inspired you?

The news reporter Kate Adie.

I remember as a child watching her on the TV reporting from war zones around the world and knowing I wanted to be a journalist.

My first job interview was with BBC radio for a position as a news reporter but I completely messed it up. They gave us a test where we had to edit five or six news stories into a two-minute news broadcast. This was back in the days of typewriters. I was so nervous that by the time I’d managed to feed the paper into the type writer, the time was up!

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles?

Over the years, I’ve worked with some amazing people – women and men – and when I’ve been able to I’ve taken them with me when I’ve moved to new publications. I’ve also mentored students on work experience who have proved themselves worthy of joining the team and have gone on to be very successful journalists. It’s really satisfying to watch them progress.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be?

To women working in business travel I would say how wonderful it is to see so many more women in senior positions in the industry than when I first began reporting on this sector back in the mid 1990s, so keep up the good work.

Revital Kristal:
Everything is possible if you have the right mindset

Revital Kristal

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Revital Kristal has a passion for the travel industry and founded create and combine cutting-edge technologies that help travel companies drive growth through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver laser-focused marketing messages.

Who has inspired you?

I think my grandmother is the person who most affected my personality and made me who I am. During WW2, when she was just 10 years old, she lost her entire family. After running and arriving to Israel, she found herself all alone and in a foreign country, yet she prevailed. She was determined to make a better life for herself, never give up on her dreams, and live life to its fullest.

I’ve always been inspired by how she kept going, and always had a positive outlook on everything. Every difficulty became a challenge, every challenge became a victory.

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles?

Besides being involved in a few women’s empowerment groups, I’m actively mentoring other female entrepreneurs, sharing my knowledge, network and experience.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be?

Stay focused, fierce, and never stop at anything. Everything is possible if you keep the right mindset.

Elkie Nicholas:
We are kindred spirits on an important mission

Elkie Nicholas

Chief Tree Hugger and Co-founder


Elkie Nicholas founded Trees4Travel, the leading carbon compensation organisation that enables travellers to remove the carbon of trips by purchasing and arranging the planting of trees in reforestation projects around the world to help restore eco-systems, biodiversity and support local communities. Trees4Travel also always assigns each tree with a share of an investment into a United Nations Certified Emissions Reduction renewable energy programme, essentially doubling their promise – making travel planet and people positive.

Who has inspired you?

My immediate thought is of course the ultimate she/her of us all ‘Mother Nature’ or ‘Mother Earth’ as she’s sometimes called.

She breathes, she grows, she changes, she’s resilient, strong, intelligent, provides us with food and water, always working to achieve and maintain harmony and balance for our environment. Mother Nature heals, nurtures, and supports all life on this planet. Ultimately all life and health depend on her.

She is magnificent, astounding, beautiful – she is my inspiration.

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles?

As a start-up and because of the ‘nature’ of our business, ever-changing and fast-moving, our work environment can be challenging at times – continual appreciation and recognition of my colleagues is therefore of utmost importance to me.

Encouraging openness, trust, curiosity and creativity are much needed when you think of the task in hand, helping in the fight against climate change. Ultimately, we understand and accept that we are all learning and growing together and that it is our shared passion to make a difference in our industry and our world that creates a deep-rooted connection between us.

Just like trees in a forest, they appear to be standing alone (we all work remotely and in different countries) but in fact they are members of an interconnected ‘wood-wide -web’ community, above and below ground – we are kindred spirits on an important mission.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be?

Women are like trees, every single one of us is a different shape, size, every single one of us is unique and special – so embrace in your uniqueness, stand tall, stand proud, believe in yourself.

As trees, bend in the wind, learn to be flexible and adaptable, stay grounded, remember your roots, and keep growing!

Kelly Packington:
Always aim to build people up

Kelly Packington

Operations Director

Global Travel Management

Kelly Packington is the Operations Director of Global Travel Management and was the most-recent addition to the company’s board, having been promoted from her role within the reservations team at the company.

Who has inspired you?

Many people have inspired me. But, if I were to select just one, without hesitating – and at the risk of sounding ‘corny’ – I would choose my Mum.

Not just because she raised me or for everything she’s done for me, not just for being my biggest cheerleader. But, because the way in which she faced her biggest hurdles, never complaining, never becoming excessively emotional, always providing strength for all of her family. She was a hard-working, ordinary superhuman.

A more widely-known inspirational woman I was lucky enough to meet was Rebecca Stephens. A journalist, a visiting fellow at Ashridge Business School, a trainer in Strategic Influencing, an author and charity fundraiser. And her own personal Everest? Well, that was becoming the first British woman to climb Everest, of course.

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles?

Three things spring immediately to mind:

I ensure we accommodate the challenges and pressures that my team members face. Whether that’s child care requirements, care commitments or even childcare requirements for pet dogs. So, typically, we have team meetings after the school runs have finished; work rotas are adjusted to fit in with domestic needs; and the office often has four-legged friends running round the office!

I make sure I surround myself with colleagues so I can hear, understand and appreciate my team’s issues, plans, suggestions and recommendations… and take them to board meetings myself. It’s one way in which I try to ensure everyone’s views are heard and acted on.

And I stick to the simple principle that you should always aim to build people up.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be?

I have three quotes I like to turn to, when thinking about women supporting other women:

Maya Angelou said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”.

Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman”.

And, more recently, Malala Yousafzi very succinctly and very accurately declared, “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back”.

Natalie Pawley:
We ensure gender is never a hurdle to success at Global Travel Management

Natalie Pawley


Global Travel Management

Natalie Pawley is the longest-serving board member of Global Travel Management, having been the first-ever member of the board on its launch in 1997.

Who has inspired you?

Like any mother, I’ve been inspired by the development of my first-born child, someone who has matured and blossomed, while facing and successfully overcoming difficult challenges.  I am lucky to have someone so inspirational in my close family. 

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles?

We treat our business like a close-knit family group. 

So our natural inclination is to support the women who work for us by making the working environment perfectly suitable to them.  That starts by arranging work meetings for times that accommodate women’s priorities. 

We teach women, we recruit women, we train women, we promote women and we share with women the successes we achieve.  But we do so without discriminating. 

In short, we ensure gender is never a hurdle to success at Global Travel Management

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be? 

We can only be what we see.  So, as women, it’s vital we see successful women.  That means two things. 

First, seek out successful women and celebrate their successes with them.  And second, share your success with others when you achieve it. 

In short, ‘be the successful woman you would like to see’.

Abby Penston:
Be the woman you aspire to be and don’t settle for less

Abby Penston

Chief Executive Officer

The Focus Travel Partnership

Abby Penston is the CEO of the Focus Travel Partnership, the UK’s leading business travel consortium for Travel Management Companies. Launched in 1999 as a division of the Advantage Travel Group, Focus has a wealth of knowledge as well as industry contacts and, across its central team, has more than 160 years of business travel experience.

Who has inspired you? 

I am blessed to have a huge army of amazing women in my life and feel inspired daily by them, from my girlfriends, family members, my awesome team at Focus and my daughter all of whom inspire and drive me as business woman, friend and mother each day.

Inspiration can come in so many formats but having a group of ladies at home and at work who really are your ride or die family makes the many challenges we all face bearable and over the last two years those challenges have come in hard and fast.

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles? 

I would like to think by providing a platform and opportunities to progress is something I have always delivered. I would like to think I am open and supportive when it comes to progression and will always share my career highs and lows as examples, good, bad and the ugly!

To speak freely with my teams I hope in itself is a supportive approach, life isn’t always easy and we all make mistakes but its how we manage those lows as well as the highs that determines the type of leader we chose to be.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be? 

Be true to yourself, trust in your instinct and surround yourself with a supportive network. Be in a position to let people lean on you when needed but be brave enough to know when to lean on others as well, it really is ok to ask for help. The people and organisations we surround ourselves reflect just as much on you than you do yourself, chose your company wisely.

Integrity for me is the value I protect the fiercest, be the woman you aspire to be and don’t settle for less, above all else try and have some fun along the way!

Kathryn Wallington:
Never stop challenging yourself, but always be respectful

Kathryn Wallington

Head of Middle East and Africa


Kathryn Wallington heads up the Middle East and Africa regions for global travel platform Travelport, focusing on enabling more content, providing better travel retailing capabilities and driving down the costs of travel and managing journeys.

Who has inspired you?

There are so many inspirational women that have impacted my life, most of all my mother who continues to push me every day; J.K. Rowling whose personal story is inspirational; and one that has inspired me since I was a little girl: Princess Diana. Her life was tragically cut short, but her inspiring work with AIDS suffers and anti- landmine campaigns secured Princess Diana’s legacy. She truly was ‘The People’s Princess’.

To me Diana was a lot more than a Princess standing by the side of her Prince. Like every woman she had a million different roles – of a loving mother of two children, of an independent woman, who became an example and inspiration for millions of people.

One of Diana famous quotes, of which I am a true advocate and I regularly recite to my children, is ‘carry out a random act of kindness, with no exception of reward, safe in the knowledge that, one day, someone might do the same for you’.  

What steps have you taken to support and encourage women colleagues in their roles? 

Being a good example and sharing my experiences where I can.

I am a great listener and have mentored and supported colleagues to place an importance on self -confidence as well as challenging them.

I love to – and always do – celebrate women’s accomplishments and encourage them to do more.

If you could offer words of support to women, what would they be? 

It is important to be confident and secure in who you are if you want to succeed.

I am also a firm advocate in challenging yourself to the extent of being out of your comfort zone, which supports you to grow. Never stop challenging yourself, but always be respectful. Be hungry to learn and always invest in your team – you cannot do it alone.

Enjoy and embrace change effectively, as it’s inevitable. Embrace it.

Good news

It may be difficult to find, but, if you look hard enough, there are still some items of good news in the business travel industry. So, every week, we curate some of the better “good news” stories. We can’t promise green shoots of economic recovery, but we can promise to highlight some of the better, encouraging and happier pieces of news in business travel. After all, we’re all looking forward to travelling again.

And, if you want to share the good news, please feel free to use the share links at the bottom of the page.

Monday, 14 December

Last week ended with the announcement of the twenty individuals, groups and companies that comprised the ‘Twenty Heroes.

It’s good news if you’re on the list. And it’s good news if you’re a client of Global Travel Management, because each of these contributors will have helped to make 2020 better than it would otherwise have been, and have paved the way for a better, more positive year ahead.

Check out the full list, below:

Monday, 7 December

Last week, the news was dominated by Thursday’s announcement from the Secretary of State for Transport that “high value business travel” would be provided with an exemption from the requirement to quarantine on return to England from countries outside the safe travel corridor.

The Safe Travel Corridors list is published by the UK Government and is updated weekly.

See Scott Pawley’s view on this announcement, here.

Elsewhere, Vistara are planning to start flights between London and Mumbai next month. Heathrow is predicting a sharp increase in passenger volumes in 2021. easyJet is seeing an increase in passenger confidence.

United Airlines have kicked off a mass shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Eva Air are investing in biometric boarding in San Francisco. While Manchester Airports Group has rolled out Covid testing at Stansted, East Midlands and Manchester airports.

And for the AVGeeks amongst us, there was news that two more BA 747s have been saved from the scrapheap.

And finally we have experimented with sharing hotel news via Twitter Moments. You can see how this is coming on here.

Monday, 30 November

E-scooters were in the news last week, with TfL launching a trial. Ryanair extended its fee waiver. Do you want 2,000 Tesco Clubcard Points? If so, check out Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. And Virgin Atlantic has also launched a Black Friday sale.

Manchester Airports Group has updated its commitment to zero carbon. Gatwick Airport has launched a Covid-19 testing facility. While Hawaiian Airlines allows loyalty members to swap miles for Covid-19 tests.

The UK Government safe travel corridor list saw changes this week. And there’s big news from IAG and IATA, who are working on a new travel pass.

And, in the middle of the week, the Focus Travel Partnership held a virtual event for members.

Monday, 23 November

We didn’t have to wait long before posting our first piece of good news on Twitter this week. It was on Monday morning that we shared the great news that we are working with, not one, but two suppliers of Covid-19 testing, for passengers travelling to destinations that require a negative Covid test certificate.

Among airlines sharing good news are:

Elsewhere, the UK and USA have signed a bilateral Open Skies agreement.

American Airlines have launched an app helping passengers understand testing and documentation requirements.

And the GBTA have released research showing that half of travellers are willing to travel now.

But, perhaps the most important news was the story we broke on Wednesday: the Boeing 737 Max 8 cleared to return to service.

Monday, 16 November

Last week the news was dominated by the announcement that the Pfizer/BioNTech phase 3 testing of a Covid-19 vaccine has delivered better than expected results. Stocks rose worldwide – although there were some exceptions, as Scott Pawley noted here on LinkedIn.

Elsewhere, the UK economy soared by a record amount in Q3 this year, the government’s safe travel corridor has welcomed two new, key business destinations and GTM customers can now make use of Covid-19 testing provided by two suppliers.

And we closed off the week by changing the name of our company

Monday, 9 November

What was the first travel-related item we tweeted this week? Was it about flights? Airports? Trains? Car hire? Drones, teleportation or virtual meetings? No. It was bicycles.

We kicked off British Travel Month with a clip of Paul Baker explaining how travellers can support British jobs in the travel industry, even while the country enters the second lockdown.

Accor has worked with a London-based company Bizzon to launch a digital service to make it easier, quicker, safer and more reliable to order food and beverage.

In the middle of a busy week, we were able to announce that a new president has been appointed: Marriott International had a big announcement.

For anyone still unaware, there was confirmation that business travel is starting its long recovery.

The managing director of Hull Trains has promised that services to London will return. And LNER has launched a new loyalty scheme for frequent travellers.

The entertainment industry is one sector that is showing how to continue growing the economy, instead of waiting for the pandemic to pass. And the uptick in business travel has been identified by the CEO of Hilton Worldwide.

Finnair has introduced free Covid-19 insurance cover. And American Airlines has expanded its testing programme.

British Airways released a video explaining the meticulous and painstaking measures the airline is taking in order to ensure the safety of passengers in the airport and on-board flights.

Monday, 2 November

This week, Paul Baker and Kelly Packington met the teams at Heathrow and United Airlines to see how well the airline and airport are working to ensure passengers can travel in a Covid-secure way.

It was reported that Swiss Rail will run a faster service between Zurich and Munich next month. While Berlin Airport has opened a rail station.

Westjet has announced it will provide cash refunds instead of vouchers.

Two affiliates of Japan Airlines have joined the Oneworld Alliance.

Dubai International Airport has an announcement on safe routes through the airport.

Singapore Airlines have launched flights to nowhere.

Emirates is offering 10% off flights. And the airline has announced the return of full inflight dining.

United Airlines has added eight new routes.

Occupancy is up at IHG hotels.

Monday, 26 October

There could be an economic boost to the UK of £2.9bn per annum, thanks to the sustainable fuels industry.

Air New Zealand is opening up the trans-Tasman bubble. Flybe is set for a return. And Jet Airways has found new investors. Emirates is offering 10% off flights and double Tier Miles and is expanding its southern African destinations. United Airlines is adding more destinations this winter. Singapore Airlines resumes a New York service next month. Lufthansa Group has announced reduced losses in Q3 this year. And you can now experience Finnair’s inflight services without flying. Qatar Airways has taken delivery of three more Airbus A350-1000s.

The good news in the last week isn’t restricted to airlines. Manchester rail stations are set for significant expansion with new HS2 proposals. Mumbai Airport has rolled out its express Covid-19 RT PCR testing for all departing passengers. And Calgary Airport is hosting a project that could shorten quarantine time for international travellers (and yes, we know, it probably shouldn’t be called a pilot project…).

Monday, 19 October

The main item of good news in the last week involves our own Scott Pawley and the trip he made to Heathrow on Tuesday.

Scott was among a number of invitees to view the work being undertaken by Delta Air Lines and by Marriott Hotels to keep passengers and guests safe and secure against Covid infection.

To see how Scott got on, check out this thread, on GTM’s Twitter account…

Monday, 12 October

This week, the good news we shared was about a product we launched. PinPoint is the Duty Of Care, Traveller-Tracking and Covid resource tool. You can read about it here.

And you can see what BTN Europe – the leading source of information, news, features, data and research for corporate travel managers and travel management professionals – has to say about PinPoint, here.

And you can see how PinPoint works, on this short video clip

Monday, 5 October

This week, we celebrated the anniversary of High Speed 1, the UK’s first high-speed rail infrastructure. Some of the highlights of the tweets on 28 September were the announcement of a merger between Eurostar and Thalys, Eurostar restoring catering, some great adjectives used on LinkedIn to describe Eurostar, new cleaning robots at St Pancras, biometrics will be used from next March at St Pancras and there’s a great review for the Holiday Inn Express Folkestone Channel Tunnel.

Elsewhere, Air France has announced it is to operate 50% of its schedules during November and December, serving more than 170 destinations by the end of the year.

Qatar Airways has received a $1.95bn government investment and is offering 100 days of free wifi.

Air New Zealand is offering a frequent flyer status extension.

Lufthansa and Austrian are trialling an inflight shopping platform.

Gatwick has begun rolling out UV technology to disinfect trays in security lanes. Meanwhile, in its North Terminal Gatwick has seen the reopening of the No1 Lounge.

LEVEL has resumed its Barcelona-New York service.

Monday, 28 September

This week, we’re only highlighting one piece of news in the business travel industry. Our Managing Director, Scott Pawley put together a message for anyone looking to restart or continue business travel in the coming weeks.

His message included three key pieces of advice:

  • Update your travel policy
  • Make sure your travellers’ details and passports are up to date
  • Take the opportunity to ensure you have a carbon offset programme in place

You can see Scott’s message, here

Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management has a message for businesses in the United Kingdom: Business Travel Remains Open.

Monday, 21 September

We reported on a number of hotel businesses demonstrating confidence in the long-term future of the hospitality industry this week. Including Hilton, which has opened a new Hampton property in Ealing, the Lux Collective, signing an agreement to manage a five-star resort in Chongzou, Guangxi, HRS and Radisson extending their partnership, Intercontinental Hotels Group launching two new loyalty club promotions, and, back in London, Locke has opened Bermonds Locke in London Bridge.

We report on hotel news every weekday at noon, on Twitter. Follow us here

Vietnam Airlines has started one-way flights to Japan. Singapore Airlines will launch no-destination flights, from Changi Airport. Etihad is introducing artificial intelligence to reduce in-flight food wastage. Air France is investing in electric ramp equipment. Icelandair has joined Worldwide by easyJet. Aer Lingus Regional is introducing flights from Belfast to Birmingham and Manchester. British Airways has increased flights to Lahore, Pakistan. Delta Air Lines flew its first flight out of Salt Lake City Airport. Qatar Airways is now serving 90 destinations, with more than 650 weekly flights and has fitted 100 aircraft with high-speed broadband. Air Canada is offering free covid insurance.

And the BBC reported on Europe’s first Covid-free flights.

Monday, 14 September

Emirates has announced plans to resume flying to Accra and Abidjan and has completed more than $1.4bn in passenger refunds. Flydubai is offering passengers free global cover for Covid-19. Alitalia has received European Commission go-ahead for a grant of almost €200m. Air France is moving towards all-electric ramp equipment. Vietnam Airlines will resume six domestic routes.

Qatar Airways now has 100 aircraft equipped with high-speed broadband.

The aviation industry is collaborating on a biomimicry project to demonstrate operational feasibility of reducing aviation emissions using Wake Energy Retrieval.

Dubai International Airport has reopened smart gates at T3.

And Eurostar has resumed onboard catering.

Monday, 7 September

The last couple of weeks have seen more good news for business travel and business travellers.

Eurostar has announced the long-awaited launch of the direct, return trips between London and Amsterdam, starting on 26 October. The German government and Deutsche Bahn will work together to refresh 167 stations throughout the country. GWR has brought back its Night Riviera service.
ÖBB will launch Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet. And Avanti West Coast has introduced “At Seat Order”.

JAL will increase flights to Singapore and restart the Sydney route, meanwhile, the carrier has introduced touchless check-in at Tokyo. Virgin Atlantic has introduced a new Covid-19 insurance cover and announced plans to launch flights from London and Manchester to Pakistan , as well as announcing plans to increase its routes further, with changes to its inflight catering services. Brussels Airlines has been given the EU go-ahead for a stabilisation package and the airline’s parent Lufthansa Group has announced the removal of rebooking fees until the end of 2020. Emirates announced plans to increase its network of African destinations and resume flights to Warsaw, while KLM announced plans to add Poznan to its network. Qatar Airways is continuing to rebuild its network, and now operates 550 weekly flights to more than 85 destinations. Air New Zealand will resume all its domestic Auckland flights. Singapore Airlines has announced further easing of status requirements for its PPS Club and Krisflyer loyalty schemes. United has announced that it will permanently drop change fees for US flights; and Delta Air Lines has announced exactly the same measure.

At Heathrow, Plaza Premium has reopened two of its lounges and the airport has started trials of rapid Covid-19 testing. Berlin Airport has announced its opening will comprise a parallel landing of a Lufthansa and easyJet flight, at the end of next month. And Doncaster Sheffield Airport has the good news that Wizz Air will be expanding its operations at the airport.

And, finally, Singapore has eased travel restrictions and quarantine periods for travellers from several countries.

Monday, 24 August

There was good news from one UK airport last week, which claimed to have seen the “strongest recovery of any major airport in the UK”. Which one? You can see, here.

Aspire Lounges is gradually reopening facilities across the UK, including in Bristol, Manchester and Luton.

IATA has releases self-assessment checklists for airline’s measures against Covid-19. Delta Air Lines is ramping up staff virus testing.

Covid-19 testing facilities are up and running at Heathrow. Dubai Airport announced pioneering steps in the detection of Covid-19 – by use of man’s best friends. Elsewhere in the Gulf, Sharjah Airport has become the first carbon-neutral airport in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Cathay Pacific passengers numbers are up. Emirates are adding destinations, and changing aircraft types to meet demand. Air Asia has resumed its Kuala Lumpur to Singapore flights. KLM‘s resuming its flights to Poznan. And Qatar is resuming flights from London Gatwick.

Travel between Zurich Airport and Geneva has now become more efficient thanks to SWISS and SBB. Etihad has expanded the number of rail and coach tickets that can be purchased in conjunction with its air fares. And, in the UK, if you’re travelling by train on a Friday, LNER has some good news for you.

And, finally, passengers from Portugal will no longer have to agree to self-isolate for fourteen days, thanks to changes announced by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Monday, 17 August

Last week, there was good news on airlines adding services as well as more good news on how airlines are ensuring trips are safer and more secure.

Qatar Airways is continuing to rebuild its network, and will offer 56 flights a week to the United States by next month, increasing flights to Pakistan while flights to Gatwick resume next week. Emirates is resuming passenger flights to Birmingham. Eastern Airways will regain its link to Heathrow, with flights from Teesside launching next month. Wizz Air has announced plans to create a second UK base, at Doncaster Sheffield. Virgin Atlantic is resuming flights from India.

Etihad has launched an antimicrobial snood for its business class and first class passengers. JetBlue is extending its seat distancing policy. United is using UV lights to to clean flight decks.

Schiphol Airport plans to open Covid-19 testing at Arrival Hall 3, while British Airways are considering offering pre-flight testing. Delta Air Lines is testing more of its workforce.

And in other news, American Airlines is bringing back hot food to its lounges.

Monday, 10 August

We will be honest. Last week, the focus of our attention, at least in the middle of the week, was on the events happening here.

But we also produced this article looking at what aircraft manufacturers are doing to keep planes safe from Covid-19.

Elsewhere, there was more good news items in the world of business travel:

And a couple of airlines gave some information about how they go about disinfecting their planes:

Monday, 3 August

There was good news last week for one UK-based company. Delta Air Lines has selected Lysol, the disinfectant brand from Slough-based multi-national Reckit Benkiser to enhance its cleaning regime and protocols. You can read about this new partnership, here.

British Airways, is rolling out a new voucher scheme. LNER has resumed onboard catering. AirAsia has introduced a WhatsApp chatbot, called AVA. The BTA has called on the government to provide more transparency on its quarantine decision-making process, while Heathrow has backed the idea of passengers being able to buy Covid-19 testing at the airport.

But, probably the best piece of business travel-related news came from the Focus Travel Partnership. CEO Abby Penston reported the findings of the latest Covid-19 Recovery Survey and the results are clear: booking numbers are up, thanks, in part, to the introduction of air bridges. This means more businesses are getting back to business travel to restart and fire up the economy.

Monday, 27 July

Last week saw airport re-openings, countries being dropped from the mandatory quarantine list, more flights being resumed and a guide to getting back to business travel being published.

Passenger numbers at Manchester Airport have continued to increase, leading to the re-opening of Terminal 2. This came in the same week that the UK Government dropped its requirements for passengers returning from five countries to self-quarantine on arrival for fourteen days.

Among airlines resuming services in response to passenger demand are Finnair and Etihad Airways (to Shanghai), and Qatar Airways (to Guangzhou) while British Airways announced new flights from Gatwick to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Finally, in response to the gradually-increasing demand for business travel, particularly from the UK, we have produced a comprehensive document giving details of what companies should to when they start to plan their return to business travel. You can read about this – and downloand a free copy – here.

Monday, 20 July

After last week’s several “good news” items, we thought we would concentrate on just one this week. The great news for one of the biggest airlines in transatlantic travel, Virgin Atlantic. The airline’s future has been protected thanks to a solvent recapitalisation. This is great news for the airline’s staff, for the sector as a whole and, of course, to any businesses looking to ensure they have enough choice of airlines to two, key business markets: the United States and South Africa.

Monday, 13 July

Last week, there were several, new items of good news.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has revised its global advisory against all but essential travel, opening the way for more business trips to be possible. Delta Air Lines has re-opened lounges in Chicago, Denver, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix and San Francisco.

Swissport and Priority Pass are looking at a “test on arrival” system at UK airports and Air Canada are looking to explore rapid Covid testing. Meanwhile, Aspire Lounges has begun re-opening its airport lounges and KLM has re-opened Schengen Crown Lounge at Schiphol.

London City Airport has re-opened. Automatic quarantine requirements have lifted for travellers coming into the UK, from some destinations.

And last, but not least, one particularly important #businesstravel journey reached a critical point, when Test cricket finally returned…

Monday, 6 July

This week, the good news came in threes.

First, the government confirmed that there would be a list of countries that will be exempt from last month’s quarantine requirements, starting this week, on 10 July. Read the story here.

Second, the government produced its list of 59 countries – and it contained some surprises. See the full list here.

Third, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office released updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers. This came into effect at the weekend. You can read about this, here.

Monday, 29 June

This week, there is really only one, big piece of business travel industry news. The government’s lifting of quarantine restrictions for passengers arriving (or returning) from some countries. Click the link below to find out about the government’s intentions, Foreign Office advice changes and the latest information about air bridges. The story is moving forward very quickly, so keep checking back to see regular and ad hoc updates.

Monday, 22 June

A number of airlines announced increased services this week, including:

Manchester Airport introduced pre-booking for security screening and London City Airport re-opened yesterday.

Intercontinental Hotels Group announced the introduction of a new pricing model, Hyatt plans to open a hotel at Gatwick and Ruby confirms plans for a 173-room hotel in Notting Hill.

Monday, 15 June

There was more good news in the last week from the business travel sector, yet again. As the industry prepares for more companies to return to travelling on business, we were able to bring a range of good news items to our Twitter followers.

  • Turkish Airlines launched a discount scheme for health care workers
  • Iberostar plans to re-open several hotels, while OYO and Premier Inns build new ones
  • Japan Airlines and Air Transat re-start international services; Virgin Australia re-starts domestically
  • Austrian Airlines have secured rescue funding, while agreeing environmental commitments
  • You don’t have to wear gloves at Manchester Airport any more…
  • …and you don’t have to keep your distance on Air New Zealand flights
  • And, if you’re worried about losing your tier status on British Airways Executive Club, there’s good news for you, too

Monday, 8 June

In the last week, a number of news items have, again, pointed to recovery in the business travel sector.

But most people’s attention was rightly focused on the 50 Leading TMCs list being revealed by industry publication BTM Europe…

Monday, 1 June

United Airlines is upcycling old staff uniforms into face masks

Hilton is producing 50,000 meals a month for those in need

Iberia will increase flights next month…

…while Lufthansa Group has announced increased long-haul routes

Air New Zealand has opened a number of its lounges as it resumes domestic flights

Monday, 18 May

Lufthansa Group is amongst a raft of airlines announcing schedule increases having publicised 1,800 additional roundtrips per week to its schedules from next month…

…but Delta Air Lines isn’t even waiting that long to restart flights to Heathrow:

Meanwhile, across Europe, steps are being taken to open up borders again:

And Qatar Airways has generously donated 100,000 free tickets to healthcare professionals as a big “thank you”:

Monday, 11 May

In a week where the news mainly concerned messages from Her Majesty the Queen and the Prime Minster as well as celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe, we also found some good news in the business travel sector.

International Airlines Group – the owners of British Airways – has announced it is planning a “meaningful return” to service in July. However, a number of airlines have announced an increase in flights even sooner than that

  • American Airlines will resume some European and South American flights from 4 June.
  • British Airways will return to Beijing Daxing out of Heathrow from 14 June and several other routes during the same month.
  • Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will increase their capacity from 21 June.
  • KLM continues to have longhaul flights to Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Mexico City, Toronto, Curacao, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo Narita, Osaka Kansai, Seoul and Hong Kong; as well as daily flights to Barcelona, Budapest, Helsinki, Madrid, Milan, Prague, Rome and Warsaw.
  • Korean Air intends to resume flights to cities including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Qatar Airways says it will increase flights to 80 cities by the end of June.
  • Forbes has reported that United Airlines plans to “pencil in” four flights to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai from June.
  • While Vietnam Airlines plans to resume all domestic flights in June.

Capturing the mood of a nation that is looking forward to the end of “lockdown”, the Daily Mail reported that one-third of Britons will be travelling more than ever, once the restrictions end.

And while the airlines’ planning continued to gather pace, we at Global Travel Management took some time to commemorate VE Day…

Monday, 4 May

In the last week, Virgin Atlantic have shared some of the great stories of how their staff are helping to repatriate British people from abroad, helping to deliver food, helping staff in NHS hospitals, helping to handle NHS 111 calls and lots more. But they’re not just helping, they’re taking time to say thank you – a big, red thank you – to other people and organisations and the work they are doing.

Elsewhere, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon intend to increase flying capacity towards the end of June.

Business travel is recovering in China. The country’s strategy, which will attempt to restart what was the biggest business travel market in the world, could offer a glimpse of how business travel will recover in the future.

Scott Pawley has posted about the airline industry reaching the bottom of the curve

And these pieces of good news from Asia may reflect some positive changes in airline capacity around the world. Our Managing Director Scott Pawley posted on LinkedIn about a report suggesting the airline world may have reached the bottom of the curve. In short, there has been an increase in flight seat capacity.

It is not only business travel that has seen good news in the last week, because Dubai aims to reopen its tourism by July, according to the Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Wizz Air have recommenced flights from London Luton Airport to airports in Hungary, Israel, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Spain.

And finally, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has released the results of a poll of more than 5,000 of its members which shows signs of optimism and recovery on the horizon. The study found that most companies are planning a recovery for 2020, with one in three planning for a recovery within the next three months.

Monday, 27 April

A British Airways flight from China, loaded with PPE and other essential kit for the NHS.

Last week, British Airways announced an increase in flights to China to London from 13 a week to 21. The flights will be able to carry up to 77 tonnes of cargo for the NHS, including PPE (personal protective equipment) which is of vital importance to health and social care workers.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We are in a unique position to help in the global response to Covid-19, whether it is through carrying UK residents back home, transporting vital cargo back to the NHS, or through our colleagues who are offering their skills to volunteer. We’re proud to be playing our part, and I’m grateful to everyone who is working to make these flights happen in these difficult times.”

The news of BA’s increased China-London flights came the same week that the airline shared details of repatriation flights from India. As our news story shows, the airline has been helping to fly thousands of British citizens home from India. And our tweet, below, shows how welcome the repatriation flights were for the passengers – and how hard the crews are working to make this happen.

What does the Focus Travel Partnership do?

The Focus Travel Partnership is a consortium of independent travel management companies, including Global Travel Management.

Focus was founded in 1999 by fifteen companies solely to serve the growing and evolving requirements of corporate travel. In 2019 Focus became a limited company and, today has a membership four times its original size, with members’ combined turnover totalling more than £1bn per annum.

Membership of Focus enables travel management companies to negotiate beneficial partnership agreements with travel suppliers around the world.

Focus enables a collaborative voice on industry matters to be heard across the industry, regulatory bodies and governments. In this way, Focus is able to set the agenda and steer conversations and agreements on important industry issues like airline fare distribution, the latest technology developments, sustainability within the industry and duty of care – a topic that has come to the forefront in 2020.

Scott Pawley is Focus Travel Partnership’s Director of Technology & Innovations

The partnership has a Board of seven directors, including GTM’s Scott Pawley who is responsible for bringing technical innovations to the Focus panel, such as the industry-leading Focus Fare Finder product developed by Scott and his team.

Chief Executive Officer Abby Penston leads the partnership and directs the Focus panels. Adrian Parkes has joined the Board as Non-Executive Chairman.

Mick Gibbs is the partnership’s Director of Industry Affairs, promoting Focus at industry events. Christian Gleave is the Operations Director, running the operational teams and managing third party support and other services. Cilla Goldberger is the Marketing & Events Director, splitting time between brand management and developing the partnership’s range of events. Martin Pearce is the Director of Business Development, managing the whole process of acquiring and implementing new partners. Wendy Walker is the Supplier Management Director, overseeing the partnership’s supplier relationships. And Adam White has the role of Finance Director for the Focus Travel Partnership.

Scott Pawley explained how a corporate client can benefit from GTM’s membership of Focus:

Like all Focus partners, we have direct access to the lowest fares from most of the world’s leading airlines, thanks to our collective bargaining power. And we – like all Focus members – have access to the most competitive hotel and car hire rates and exceptional high-level relationships with all suppliers. So GTM’s membership of Focus means our clients benefit from the great, personalised service we always offer all our clients, but they also benefit from cheaper fares previously only available through larger, less personal travel management companies.  The best of both worlds.

In addition, I make sure Focus works closely with leading technology companies to produce a range of tools, datasets and travel management applications which are delivered as part of GTM’s offer to clients, having been built, tested and proven by some of the industry’s most demanding businesses.

If you would like to know more about how clients benefit from GTM’s membership of Focus, please contact us.

Scott Pawley receives Outstanding Achievement award

Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management, has received an award for his outstanding contribution to business travel innovation from Advantage Focus Partnership.

The award came during the Advantage Focus twentieth anniversary celebrations, presentation ceremony and conference at a central London hotel.

The presentation came as a complete surprise to Scott, who said afterwards:

I was completely bowled-over. It is very flattering to be put forward by the team at Advantage Focus for an award like this. I had no idea at all.

The award is in recognition of Scott’s contribution to Advantage Focus and its member companies for a number of years. Most recently, Global Travel Management developed Focus Fare Finder – a tool to ensure business travellers get the best-priced fare on every flight booking – and made it available to every Advantage Focus member.

Scott explained why he does this:

It’s for the greater good. We know that, when we develop a piece of technology that benefits Global Travel Management and share that with the wider membership of Advantage Focus, we are doing one really important thing: making the marketplace bigger.

Ultimately, if a business is well-served by an Advantage Focus member company, every Advantage Focus member benefits.

Abby Penston is Head of Focus. She took time to explain why Scott received his award and what it means:

It was an absolute pleasure to present Scott Pawley with this Focus Partnership award for his Innovative contribution to Business Travel Technology at our 20th Anniversary celebrations.

The ethos of Focus is a Partnership run by the Partners for the Partners and Scott is an absolute example of this in practice. Scott’s commitment to the Partnership is evident to everyone who works closely with us, our Panels and the Focus Central team. He is respected not just within the Partnership but also with our Supplier Partners for being a progressive innovative leader.

Scott has played a lead role in many of our products within our technology suite including implementing and maintaining our award winning Focus Fare Finder product, affording the Partnership the ability to stay competitive and efficient. This product strengthened our Technology portfolio and is utilised throughout our Partnership, daily.

Scott and his team at Global Travel Management were instrumental in our latest data project which again revolutionises the way we operate, allowing us to utilise our data to drive our businesses forward.

It’s this innovative approach to Business Travel that places The Focus Partnership and its technology as leaders within the Business Travel sector.

Well Done Scott, thank you once again for always going above and beyond!