This year was full of exciting developments in air travel retailing. From blockchain to New Distribution Capability (NDC), ARC was proud to collaborate with its industry partners throughout 2019 to advance the travel journey.
From all of us at ARC to our customers, industry partners and travelers, thank you for an outstanding 2019. We look forward to working alongside you in 2020 to build our industry’s future together.
Here are some of ARC’s highlights from 2019:
January – ARC Successfully Completes a Blockchain Proof of Concept with United Airlines and Blockskye
As an airline-owned organization, ARC researches and develops new technologies on behalf of the entire travel industry. In January, ARC and Blockskye completed a successful blockchain proof of concept (PoC) with United Airlines and a top corporate client. ARC has continued this partnership throughout 2019, further developing a private blockchain solution for direct corporate bookings.
February – ARC and Expedia Release 2019 Travel Outlook Study
Each year, ARC’s robust data helps fuel a comprehensive travel outlook study in partnership with Expedia Group. The 2019 Travel Outlook Study from Expedia and ARC examined air travel trends and provided money-saving strategies for booking flights and hotels.
March – ARC Launches Its Women’s Advocacy Group, WeARC
In March, ARC launched a new affinity group, WeARC (Women Engaged at ARC). The group kicked off with an event honoring Women’s History Month and featured a discussion with ARC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lauri Reishus, about the experiences that shaped her career.
April – Air Sales and the Travel Agency Distribution Channel
In April, ARC partnered with Phocuswright to sponsor a paper on the state of air travel distribution in the travel agency channel. The report outlined the strength of travel agency air sales, and how they were projected to grow. It also explored travel agency shopping and booking trends and shifting business models.
May – Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Increase $500 Million
In alignment with the aforementioned paper, U.S. travel agency sales continued to climb. In May, ARC released data that showed a $500 million year-over-year increase in agency air ticket sales. The consolidated dollar value of tickets sold in April 2019 by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 6% compared to April 2018, totaling $9 billion vs. $8.5 billion.
June – How Many Travel Management Companies (TMCs) Have Adopted NDC?
June marked the release of The Beat’s research report, TMC NDC Adoption Barometer, sponsored by ARC. The report detailed how many TMC survey respondents had processed NDC bookings; how TMCs plan to access NDC airline content; and whether TMCs view NDC as a positive or negative development.
July – Exploring the Travel Journey
ARC created an interactive touchscreen experience for the Travel Journey, which spans the traveler’s inspiration to travel; their planning, shopping and purchasing experience; and the travel itself. It explores opportunities ahead for the travel industry to enhance the traveler experience. The Travel Journey touchscreen debuted at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) annual convention in Chicago and was also featured at ARC’s TravelConnect conference.
August – ARC Connects Southwest Airlines with the Corporate Travel Community
In August, Southwest Airlines announced that it would partner with ARC to expand its distribution strategy for corporate travel agencies. Southwest will leverage ARC’s robust reporting and settlement capabilities to seamlessly support corporate customers.
September – Spotlight on Fraud Prevention
ARC’s second annual ARC Fraud Awareness Month took place throughout September, featuring a variety of webinars with air travel, payments and law enforcement experts sharing insights into fraud prevention. September also marked the launch of ARC Risk Check, a tool that helps travel agencies assess the risk of fraud for transactions. The solution is powered by Perseuss, a leading fraud intelligence-sharing platform.
October – TravelConnect Examines an Evolving Distribution Landscape
TravelConnect 2019 highlighted the hottest topics in airline retailing. Speakers included quantitative futurist Amy Webb; President of United Airlines, Scott Kirby; President of JetBlue Technology Ventures, Bonny Simi; and a returning audience favorite, Wayne Best, the chief economist for Visa. Presentations, recaps and 2020 registration can all be found on the TravelConnect website.
November – President and CEO Mike Premo Announces 2020 Retirement; Lauri Reishus Named Next CEO
Mike Premo announced in November that he will retire from his role as ARC’s president and CEO on December 31, 2020. Lauri Reishus was unanimously voted his successor by ARC’s board of directors. “It’s been an incredible privilege and honor to serve this extraordinary company for more than a decade,” said Premo. “During this time, ARC has truly transformed from a service organization to a leader in enabling air travel retailing. I’m proud of how my ARC colleagues continue to meet the challenges facing our customers head-on, helping them thrive in a shifting landscape.
“I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead for ARC.”