Association of Corporate Travel Executives files for bankruptcy

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy following the collapse of business travel events due to Covid-19.

The ACTE issued a statement confirming it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the US, blaming the Covid-19 pandemic and cancellation of its Asia conference in Hong Kong.

It said recent spikes in Covid-19 infection rates had “made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organisations”.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing involves the sale of whatever assets the association retains.

The ACTE, based just outside Washington DC, was set up 33 years ago and operated globally organising and partnering on events for the corporate travel sector and representing its interests.

In a statement, the ACTE board said: “It is with broken hearts that we must announce we are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ACTE has ceased operations.

“The dual impacts of the cancellation of the Asia conference due to the security situation in Hong Kong and the Covid-19 pandemic cancellations have been blows that ACTE, as a small, non-profit association, has not been able to withstand.

“The employees and board members of ACTE have worked tirelessly to reduce costs and find a home for the ACTE community within a larger organisation.

“But recent Covid-19 spikes have made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organisations for some time to come.

“At this stage, the fiscally and morally responsible next step for us is to cease operations and defer to a trustee to determine the distribution of payments to creditors.

“We want to say how deeply disappointed we are that we have not been able to continue our operations. We regret we have not been able to find a lifeline to allow ACTE to continue to play a role in your recovery.”

The ACTE’s failure comes as the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), also based in the US, struggles to emerge from a crisis after chief executive Scott Solombrino was suspended on June 19 following allegations of serially abusive behaviour.

Solombrino had taken over as chief executive only in April, but was formerly GBTA executive director and chief operating officer.

He was replaced this week by interim chief executive Dave Hilfman, former senior vice president of worldwide sales for United Airlines.

GBTA gave no update on its investigative review of the allegations against Solombrino.

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