Heatwave has hit bookings, Travelport confirms

Travelport reported a “good” first half of the year in but forecast “a more challenging environment” in the second half due to the continuing heatwave in Europe.

Travel technology and GDS-owner Travelport reported a 6% rise in revenue year on year to almost $1.34 billion for the six months to June in half-year results yesterday and an 8% rise in the second quarter.

The improvement came off the back of a 22% half-year increase in revenue through the company’s Travel Commerce Platform in Europe and a 9% increase in the three months to June.

Travelport president and chief executive Gordon Wilson said: “We remain on track to deliver our financial guidance for the full year, notwithstanding the likelihood of a more challenging market in the second half due to recent demand being adversely impacted by the heatwave in Northern Europe.”

Wilson told Travel Weekly: “We’re keeping to our guidance for the full year, but the World Cup, the heatwave in Europe and the fuel price make us a bit circumspect about the second half.”

However, he suggested the heat’s impact on bookings was “not the end of the world”, saying the hot July reduced UK air bookings by about 1%.

Wilson said: “UK bookings were down 6% on our system while England were still in the World Cup.

“Normally, we would expect bookings to immediately spring back when England were knocked out. But bookings remained 1% down in July and we attribute that to the heatwave.”

But he noted: “The UK was 5% up for air bookings [on our system] in the first half of the year, doing much better than Germany, France or Italy.

“In Russia, bookings were down 13.5% during the World Cup and they are still down by 4%.”

Travelport reported a 7% rise in adjusted operating profit to $157 million for the second quarter as its revenue from airline bookings rose 5%.

The company’s ‘beyond air’ revenue from hotels, car hire and other non-air business was up 21% year on year in the quarter and contributed 30% of travel commerce platform revenue – up from 27% a year ago.

Wilson reported: “Revenue growth accelerated across all regions, with air market share growth in Asia, Europe and Latin America.”

Yet he also noted “potential impacts from higher jet fuel prices and tensions in global trade” as well as “the impact of terminating our agreement with a European online travel agent due to their contract breach”. This refers to Greek OTA Tripsta which ceased trading in June.

MoreFee-free GDS bookings on way this autumn

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