April 23, 2024

News in brief: TripActions, Finnair and more

TripActions has unveiled a new travel and expense management platform, billing it as “the best thing to happen to finance since the spreadsheet”. Called TripActions Liquid, the TMC says the product’s machine learning and AI-driven automation will put an end to the hassles and compromises from out-dated, legacy expensing tools, including the “dreaded expense report”. It has been launched in the US and is set to be rolled out in Europe later this year or in early 2021.

Finnair has trimmed its flight schedule for the winter season but will boost frequencies from spring 2021. From October 25 to March 31 2021, Finnair will serve 45 domestic and European destinations, compared with 350 the same time last year, with reduced weekly frequencies on almost all routes. Finnair’s long-haul flights will focus on Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanjing and Bangkok. On the Bangkok route, Finnair will only fly passengers on the inbound Helsinki sector. Finnair plans to open its new Busan route to South Korea and start services to Tokyo Haneda during summer 2021 but flights to San Francisco, Xi’an, Beijing Daxing, and Sapporo in Japan will remain suspended.

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline to operate Honeywell’s UV Cabin System as part of its efforts to reduce the risk of Covid-19. Roughly the size of a refreshments trolley, the system has extendable UV arms that treat aircraft seats, surfaces and cabins without using cleaning chemicals. The UV light has been shown to be capable of inactivating various viruses and bacteria when properly applied.

Gray Dawes Travel has launched YourTrip Agent Desktop, promising a “transparent and seamless and content-rich business travel booking experience, guaranteeing 100% travel policy compliance regardless of how a booking is made”. Developed over 12 months by the TMC’s own in-house IT team, the technology pulls together GDS, NDC and web content, and travel itinerary solutions, AI recommendations, for all bookings whether offline or online, agent managed or client self-service.

Women in Travel, the social enterprise group, has announced new dates throughout October for its free training and mentoring programme for women based in London who have lost their job due to Covid-19. The online and one-to-one training covers CVs, job searching, applications, and how to use social media. Throughout the winter Women in Travel will also host supportive online mentoring for unemployed women across the UK. For more details, email info@womenintravelcic.com.

Hyatt Hotels has relaxed the conditions of its loyalty scheme, World of Hyatt. Reward points, which usually expire when a member’s account is inactive for two years, will be suspended until June 30 2021. Hyatt has also extended the expiration date to December 31 2021 for all awards due to expire between March 1 and December 31 2020. Free Night awards earned this year with a 2021 expiration date will be extended to December 31 2021. Suite Upgrade and Club Lounge Access awards with a February 28 2021 expiration date will be extended to December 31 2021.