Wings Travel Management expands footprint in US
London-headquartered Wings Travel Management (www.wings.travel), global specialists in managing complex travel and people logistics to the energy and marine sectors, is expanding its footprint in the United States with the acquisition of the energy and corporate travel business of Lafayette-based Associated Travel in Louisiana, for an undisclosed sum. The agreement takes effect on 1st November 2019 and is a key strategic milestone for Wings as it gives the company a presence in a second major US energy sector hub, complementing Wings’ existing operation in Houston
Founded in 1967, Associated Travel (www.ineedatrip.com) is a highly respected and well-established travel management company (TMC) in Lafayette providing tailored online and offline business travel management to Louisiana-based energy sector companies as well as other corporate travel clients. Furthermore, it is also the premier Louisiana-based travel agency serving leisure, film and group travel. Following the sale, Associated Travel will continue serving its leisure and group travel clientele from its current office in Lafayette and CEO Robbie Bush will retain ownership and management of these areas of the business.
As experts in servicing energy and marine sector clients globally, Wings Travel Management recognises that Louisiana is the gateway to America’s Energy Corridor and the number two producer of crude oil and the number four producer of natural gas in the United States. With 18 refineries, the state ranks second in petroleum refining capacity. Lafayette lies at the heart of Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry due to its geographical location close to the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River, the major oil and gas shipping channel along whose banks most of Louisiana’s refineries are located.
“We are very excited to announce our expansion in the US with the acquisition of Associated Travel’s energy and corporate sector business,” said Tony Sofianos, CEO, Wings Travel Management. “We are delighted to have concluded the agreement with such a well-known and respected travel management company in the Louisiana market, who share our values and have the required expertise to support our growth in the energy industry. This is a significant development as it means we have a foothold in a second major energy sector hub in the USA and increases our service offering to existing and future customers in the Louisiana market. It is also aligned to our plans to make North America a key market and our three-year goal of exceeding US$300M in projected sales in this region”.
Robbie Bush, President, Associated Travel added: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Wings Travel Management in terms of our energy and corporate business, which brings a global energy, marine and corporate travel company into our community along with its corresponding positive economic impact. At the same time, we look forward to continuing to service our leisure and group travel customers to whom Associated Travel has provided travel assistance for many years.”
The energy and corporate sector business will operate under the Wings Travel Management brand and day to day operations will be managed by Wings senior management team including Chris Martin, VP Business Development, Americas, based in Houston. All current corporate travel staff of Associated Travel will also become part of Wings Travel Management under the agreement. Wings will also introduce its proprietary mid office system TMA® (Travel Management Application). This cutting-edge software enables all Wings’ offices globally to operate off the identical centralised global platform and database, giving clients real-time traveller tracking, on-demand reporting and access to multiple travel content aggregators seamlessly.