For over 30 years, Wings has led the market in managing complex travel and support services worldwide, with particular expertise in developing markets and high-risk destinations. With 25 wholly owned regional operations, spanning North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, today Wings employs around 450 people worldwide and has a global turnover of more than £420 million. Wings is still run by the original founder and CEO Tony Sofianos, who has spearheaded the company’s global growth, while retaining the ethos of high-quality, personal service that has made Wings the trusted travel partner it is today.
The Wings journey
At the age of 23, Tony Sofianos establishes Acropolis Travel, a leisure travel company in South Africa.
Wings Corporate Services is formed to serve business travellers in the local Greek market.
Wings begins servicing the energy sector in West Africa.
Expansion into Cape Town.
Wings Naledi launches, specialising in public sector organisations in South Africa.
First international expansion with opening of UK operation in central London.
Durban office launches with acquisition of Global Marine Travel, serving off-shore and marine clients.
Wings acquires marine specialists Scandic World Travel in Houston, Texas, and 30 year old Travel Alliance in London to further cement UK operation.
Wings Aberdeen established in Scotland.
Operations established in Dubai and Angola.
Expansion in Brazil with the acquisition of V7 Viagens, a strategically important location for our energy clients.
Wings opens in Lagos, Nigeria after a decade of servicing clients in the area remotely. Wings Corporate Services becomes Wings Corporate Travel and later, Wings Travel Management.
The energy sector experiences a once-in-a-generation downturn and in response Wings decides to bolster its corporate client base and prioritise on production-focused energy markets.
A big year, with two sizeable corporate acquisitions. The buy of London-based Grosvenor Travel Management lays the foundations for the transition of the global headquarters to London. Wings also acquires Michelle’s Travel in Johannesburg specialising in the strong engineering and industrial sectors in South Africa.
Acquisition of Travelnet in Stavanger, Norway, another key market for the energy sector. Wings startss business in Saudi Arabia, providing more localised support to energy clients in the region.
Wings establishes a business in Mozambique to support clients who were moving into this market following the discovery of 85 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in 2011.
Wings begins expansion in Asia Pacific with the acquisition of Olympia Travel & Tours in Singapore. This provides the operational capabilities to fully service energy and corporate clients via a hub and spoke model.
The company launches wholly owned and managed operations in Egypt and Cyprus.
Establishes a second major US energy hub with the acquisition of the energy and corporate business Associated Travel in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The Covid era reshapes Wings and demonstrates its resilience. Wings launches a global service centre (GSC) in Manila, to handle client services, incident/emergency management, finance and technology.
The GSC also provides a host of shared functions that support other Wings divisions and regions.
Wings invests heavily in technology with the re-launch of its mobile app, and completes a ten-year restructuring programme to make all operations subsidiaries of Wings Holdings in London, where its HQ and board of directors are based. It also launches an operation in Calgary, Canada.
Wings celebrates its 30th birthday, and opens a new hub in Calgary, Canada
Wings achieves ISO 27001 certification, passing with zero non-conformities, which is extremely rare. ISO 27001 is the gold standard verification for information security, cyber-security and privacy protection.
“It’s always been my vision to build an exceptional global travel management company. To do that, we have to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes every day. However big we get, it’s important we don’t lose sight of the personal experience. That’s just the way we do things at Wings.”
Tony Sofianos, President & CEO