November 24, 2021

Online Travel Update: Amazon Expands India Travel Offerings; Saber loses Expedia’s North American business; flights are behind the quarterly success of Booking Holdings | Foster Garvey PC

Upcoming changes at Saber
(“Saber Loses Piece of Expedia’s North American Business,” Nov 2, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
While Saber posted modest financial improvements in last week’s earnings report (revenue up 58% and losses reduced to $ 241 million), the loss of Expedia Group and its airline bookings has caught the attention. According to reports, Saber was one of three GDS platforms that Expedia has historically used to source aerial content. On last week’s conference call, Saber CEO Sean Menke briefed investors on the change. Saber says the loss will have minimal financial impact on the company’s bottom line (and actually improved its average booking fee to $ 4.59) because much of Expedia’s business was low-margin. Saber Travel Solutions Vice President of Saber David Shirk has hinted that another GDS announcement is coming soon as Expedia pursues a somewhat unorthodox single-source (single-source) strategy.

Flights are a major contributor to Booking Holdings’ quarterly success
(“Booking Holdings sees hotels bounce back in Europe”, November 3, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Highlights from last week’s Booking Holdings earnings release include:

  • Third quarter revenue ($ 4.7 billion) increased approximately 77% from second quarter revenue.
  • Third-quarter net income ($ 769 million) was down, although the decline was largely attributable to gains (second quarter) and losses (third quarter) in Booking Holdings’ stock holdings.
  • Two-thirds of room nights booked in the third quarter were through mobile devices, and the majority of those mobile bookings were made through corporate mobile apps.
  • Alternative accommodation accounted for around 30% of Booking Holdings’ overnight bookings in the third quarter.
  • Around a third of Booking Holdings’ gross bookings in the third quarter were processed through its payment platform (up from 22% in fiscal 2020).
  • Flights paid for much of Booking Holdings’ success in the third quarter. Flights booked through Booking Holdings’ channels (mainly Priceline.com and Booking.com) were 131% higher than in the same quarter in 2019 (before the pandemic). For Booking.com (which only started offering flights in 2019), it sees a huge opportunity in transitioning these flight customers (many of whom are new to the channel) into regular travel customers through its app. mobile, its loyalty program, etc. (and package room rates) are way behind?

Other news:

Airbnb Third Quarter Revenue Surpasses $ 2.2 Billion In Record Quarter
November 4, 2021 via Phocus Wire
For the third quarter of 2021, Airbnb also announced its highest-grossing quarter of all time with net income reaching $ 834 million.

On the Beach says Ryanair ‘wants to eliminate’ online travel agents
November 4, 2021 via Travel Weekly (United Kingdom) – News
News On the Beach has accused Ryanair of a “concerted smear campaign of false allegations” and violation of competition law, saying the carrier “wants to eliminate” online travel agents (OTAs) “as as a source of competition “.

Expedia Group Nears 2019 Profit Levels in Q3 2021
November 4, 2021 via Phocus Wire
In what may be one of the clearest signs yet that the travel industry is emerging from the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Expedia Group releases figures for net profit and Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of this year which almost match the numbers for the same quarter in 2019 – when the industry was not affected by the coronavirus.

Cendyn and Pegasus Merge to Help Hoteliers Increase Direct Bookings
November 2, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Two hotel technology companies are merging with the goal of offering a more complete and integrated solution to hotels looking to generate direct bookings and optimize the customer experience.

Hawaiian Airlines towards levying a GDS supplement
November 1, 2021 via Travel Weekly
On April 1, Hawaiian Airlines plans to begin collecting a surcharge on U.S. bookings made through legacy GDS technology, a move that will make it the first U.S. carrier to impose a GDS surcharge.


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