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ALEX CRUZ , EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, BA


VUELING’S FORMER CEO AND CHAIRMAN ALEX CRUZ featured in this list back in 2014 where he was focused on making the Barcelona-based no-frills airline a successful premium low-cost carrier. Over the past 18 months Cruz has seen passenger numbers at Vueling increase, turnover rise and losses drop, as well as new routes to destinations such as Man- chester and Belfast. It also strengthened


its links with sister carrier BA. This success has led to Cruz being named executive chairman of British Airways. It was a successful year for the UK flag


carrier, with passenger numbers soaring and improved revenue, which helped owner IAG post its first ever operating profit. And even though a lot of the focus will be on IAG in 2016, especially with the recent acquisition of Irish carrier Aer Lingus, Cruz will be expected to help steer BA towards another successful year.


STEVE SEAR, SVP GLOBAL SALES, DELTA 2015 SAW THE BIG-THREE US CARRIERS work closer together in battling the threat of Gulf airlines, as the state subsidy row looks set to continue this year. On the domestic front, Delta, American and United are all still looking at ways to increase market share. In September, Delta launched its Operational Performance Commitment – a new


programme which guarantees to beat rival airlines on key industry on-time metrics. The initiative sees the airline paying corporates if it has more flight delays than American and United. Delta said it will award credits of US$1,000 to US$250,000 to businesses with a corporate contract. One of the key members behind the announcement was Delta’s SVP global sales, Steve Sear, who was nominated by Mike Qualantone, senior VP at Amex Global Business Travel. He said: “Delta has consistently out-performed its two competitors and stands out as the model for on-time performance in the US.”


AARON GOWELL, CEO, SILVERRAIL WHEN A TRAVEL GIANT SUCH AS EXPEDIA SIGNS ANY DEAL, it’s worth taking note, especially when that deal is to expand into the rail sector. This is what happened in November when the travel booking site announced a partnership with Silverrail, whose ticketing platform helps simplify the process of accessing multiple rail companies through a standard interface. A roll-out with Expedia is expected this year.


TECHNOLOGY


CWT ANALYTIQS CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL HAS SPENT THE PAST TWO YEARS developing its latest reporting tool, CWT Analytiqs. It offers buyers a dashboard that can be customised and populated with near real-time data, which means within 30 minutes of booking. Another feature of the enhanced dashboard is an area highlighting specific recom- mended actions that buyers can make to improve the performance of their programmes. The new tool will also display buyers’ own travel data benchmarked against the best performers in the industry and CWT client averages. CWT estimates that more than 5,000 buyers will use the tool following its roll-out in December. Standard life procurement specialist Lesley Prandstatter says she has already been using the tool and that it has helped achieve business goals. “The dashboard is easy to use and it’s real-time data, so I have quick access to the latest information when I need it, rather than running reports in the programme management centre.”


70 BBT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM


Silverrail’s own expansion and plans to change the way rail is distributed is nothing new, but CEO Aaron Gowell makes it on to this year’s list for his innovative plans for the wider travel sector, too. His next focus is on seamless mobility or multi-modal trans- port. He says: “I want to help big cities crack congestion issues through inno- vative uses of technology and joining up the door-to-door journey for individual travellers.”


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