November 24, 2022

Online Travel Update: Amazon Expands India Travel Offerings; Saber loses Expedia’s North American business; Thefts are the source of most of Booking Holdings’ quarterly successes: media, telecommunications, IT, entertainment

United States: Online Travel Update: Amazon Expands India Travel Offerings; Saber loses Expedia’s North American business; Thefts are behind most of Booking Holdings’ quarterly successes

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Last week was earnings week for many public online travel agencies, and we’ve included articles summarizing those posts for several of the biggest – Expedia Group, Airbnb, Booking Holdings, and Saber. We have also included copies of the transcripts of last week’s earnings calls for both Expedia and Reservation. Enjoy.

Amazon expands travel offerings to India
(“Amazon will offer trips to India via MakeMy Trip”, November 3, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Last week, India’s online travel agency, DoMyTravel, and Amazon have announced a new partnership whereby MakeMyTrip’s travel services will be made available to customers in India through the online retailer’s website and mobile app. Customers purchasing travel services on Amazon platforms will also be able to pay for their purchases through Amazon Pay. According to the press release, travel services will be available for booking in the coming months. Readers of our update will know this isn’t Amazon’s first foray into travel services – virtual tours in September 2020 and domestic air tickets and bus passes in India in May and December 2019.

Upcoming changes at Saber
(“Saber loses a chunk of Expedia’s North American business,” November 2, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
While Saber showed 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 and were 131% higher than in the same quarter in 2019 (before the pandemic). For (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 start 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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