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Booking and expense provider TravelBank is powering a new booking tool for Brex, which provides a corporate card designed for small businesses. Dubbed Brex Travel, the solution enables travelers to book flights and hotels directly through the Brex platform and redeem card rewards points for travel. During trips, travelers will be served by TravelBank's concierge team. Like Brex, TravelBank serves small businesses. It corralls the spend of many small companies to secure the supplier discounts typically enjoyed by larger corporations. Last year, TravelBank began a commission-sharing program that returns as much as 1 percent of an enrolled company's gross travel spend.
Travel savings incentive specialist Rocketrip has named Kathleen Roberge chief revenue officer. She will lead the company's sales and marketing teams with the goal of accelerating adoption of the Rocketrip platform by large enterprise clients. Initially focused on small and midsize corporate clients, Rocketrip has expanded its target to include Fortune 1000 and enterprise customers. This year, the company landed a $15 million funding round to expand its enterprise sales team. Roberge comes to Rocketrip from Aventri, where she served for five years as chief revenue officer. She has more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership.
United plans to build up international service out of San Francisco next year, including several new routes and turning some routes from seasonal into year-round. New international routes, beginning March 30, include flights to Melbourne three times a week, two daily flights to Toronto and seasonal daily service to New Delhi. Additionally, United will add a second daily flight to Seoul and will make its service to Amsterdam, Auckland and Tahiti year-round. The new flights bring United's number of international destinations served from San Francisco to 29.
If the U.K. fails to reach a deal on its withdrawal from the European Union by April 2019, there will be insufficient time to negotiate a comprehensive air services agreement between the U.K. and EU, according to an October 2018 study the International Air Transport Association commissioned from consultancy Taylor Airey.
Enterprise Holdings plans to add more than 100,000 connected vehicles, vehicles equipped with internet, to its fleet over the next year through a partnership with General Motors. Spread across National, Enterprise and Alamo locations, they'll expedite the rental and return process, as they can automate such tasks as checking fuel levels, odometer readings and vehicle conditions upon return. They also include technology to improve the driving experience, such as automatic crash responses and remote locking and unlocking capabilities.
Air France has appointed Anne Rigail, customer EVP, as its new CEO, effective Dec. 17. Air France-KLM Group CEO Benjamin Smith had been acting as the carrier's CEO following the resignation of Air France CEO Franck Terner in September. Rigail, whose current role is in customer service, now will lead negotiations with Air France's pilots and cabin crew unions following a string of strikes this year. Smith said Rigail "has always paid particular attention to employees while implementing the many projects and transformations she has led" and that her appointment is "an important step in [the group's] reorganization to reconquer its market position."
Travel visa and passport applications platform VisaHQ has launched a tool that generates employer letters for business travel visa applications. When business travelers apply for a visa through the platform, the tool generates the employer letter with the required information from the destination country's embassy or consulate. The tool is available exclusively for VisaHQ's corporate clients.
Travel Leaders Group has named J.D. O'Hara president. In the newly-created role, he will oversee and work with the various Travel Leaders Group brand presidents to address the needs of each division. He also will enhance services and profitability to the company?s travel advisors and member agencies and drive growth in select strategic markets. He will report to Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.
On Jan. 23, Delta will introduce a color-coded boarding process, based on branded fares purchased, to replace its zone-based process. The boarding order in the new process is largely unchanged, though it gives a higher priority to a few fares: Delta One, which is now a part of the first zone with Premium Select, will get top boarding priority, and Comfort Plus passengers, who currently board with Sky Priority members, will get a distinct boarding group ahead of Sky Priority. Diamond Medallion members will continue to get top boarding priority regardless of aircraft type. Beyond that, standard Main Cabin passengers remain in three boarding groups, followed by Basic Economy passengers. In addition, Delta has begun allowing SkyMiles members to, after purchasing the ticket, use miles to upgrade to Comfort Plus or premium cabins, building on the capability it introduced this year to let travelers buy upgrades post-purchase.
Hertz has partnered with Clear to create a biometrics-based Fast Lane at its Atlanta airport location. It plans to replicate the lane at a few dozen other locations over the next year. It's been operating for about a week and allows travelers who are members of both Clear and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards to exit the location with either a fingerprint or facial recognition rather than having to show identification. That shaves the time required to exit from about two minutes to 30 seconds or less, Hertz chief marketing officer and EVP Jodi Allen said. "At Hertz, we spend a lot of time understanding what our customers are interested in, and speed is absolutely critical," Allen said. "Based on that, we entered this partnership with Clear."