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BBT HOTLIST 2019


WORDS MOLLY DYSON


ONES TO WATCH


EXTRA AIR CAPACITY IN THE UK HEATHROW FINALLY RECEIVED APPROVAL to build a third runway, unlocking the potential for much- needed capacity growth in the UK – but there’s clearly a long way to go, with Parliament’s decision being challenged in the courts by local advocacy and environmental groups. It’s good news that Gatwick has applied for permission to use its existing emergency runway to accommodate more short-haul flights. Stansted has been given the green light to serve an extra eight million passengers a year, and a new arrivals terminal is scheduled to open in 2020. Regional airports, too, are expanding. Birmingham airport has revealed its master plan to serve 40 per cent more passengers by 2033, while Manchester is in the midst of a £1 billion transformation programme to improve the customer experience. Even Doncaster Sheffield has been backed by its local community to expand its facilities, including a new onsite railwayy station. The question now is which airport will deliver extra capacity first?


VCHAIN THE “V” IN VCHAIN stands for verification, but it could stand for victory, as this start-up has been making waves over the past two years with a string of accolades. Vchain is a blockchain-powered identification system for air travel, and is designed to speed up passenger movements though airports and on to planes. Designed by Vchain co-founders Irra Ariella Khi and Alexander Gorelik (pictured) the system won investment from IAG’s global accelerator scheme Hangar 51 in 2017, while last year it came first at “Pitch at the Palace” – the Duke of York’s tech start-up competition. With data breaches and hacks on the rise, Vchain may have a role to play in allaying cyber security fears. Meanwhile, digital identity is set to be a buzzword this year, and as IATA steps up ONE order (its vision for “safe, secure and simpler passenger identification”), we may well be hearing more about Vchain in the coming months.


TROOPTRAVEL WHEN BBT FIRST ENCOUNTERED TroopTravel, the start-up was competing with other young companies for the coveted Business Travel Disrupt Award at the Business Travel Show in 2018. It won the trophy based on a rapid-fire pitch in which co-founders Leonard Cremer and Dennis Vilovic wowed judges with the platform’s ability to disrupt the way businesses plan meetings. TroopTravel uses multiple data points to determine the ideal destination for a meeting. It takes into account personal and company preferences, as well as visa requirements, cost, ease of travel and more. The BBT team liked the fact that Cremer and Vilovic often use Bali as an example of the best place to bring colleagues together under certain circumstances. The start-up was recognised again when audience members at the ACTE Paris Global Summit and Corporate Lodging Forum in October chose TroopTravel as their favourite new tech tool. It plans to launch its platform publicly at this year’s Business Travel Show. Watch this space.


IATA’S ONE ORDER WHILE THE INDUSTRY HAS BEEN harping on about NDC, IATA has slipped in another concept that has the potential to revolutionise travel – if it comes to fruition. One Order is defined by the airline body as “the concept of a single customer order record holding all data elements obtained and required for order fulfilment across the air travel cycle – such as customer data, order items, payment and billing information, fulfilment data and status”. One Order consolidates all data on a passenger name record (PNR), e-ticket and electronic miscellaneous document (EMD). IATA claims this will facilitate product delivery and settlement between airlines and their partners in a single standardised order management process, regardless of different business models. Oana Savu (pictured), manager, implementation and engagement at One Order, says it has the potential to reduce confusion for customers, who currently have to deal with multiple reference numbers for different aspects of the same order.


80


JANUARY/FEBRUARY


2019


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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