Booking Holdings has announced an agreement with CVC Capital Partners to buy Etraveli Group, a global flight booking provider for 1.63 billion euros (about $1.83 billion), to help offer frictionless flights, according to a Tuesday (Nov. 23) press release.
Etraveli Group will remain headquartered in Sweden, operating as an independent business under Booking, the release stated.
“As international air travel rebounds from the impact of the pandemic, we look forward to building upon our existing relationship with Etraveli Group to make the travel booking experience easier and more seamless to support our partners and customers,” said Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel in the release.
Meanwhile, Etraveli CEO Mathias Hedlund said in the release that the goal is to “continue to enhance the flight booking experience for our customers and partners worldwide.”
And Etraveli Chair Lorne Somerville said in the release the acquisition would be a positive because Etraveli has “built a world-leading platform for selling flights.”
Earlier this week, Fogel said the company has debuted a new FinTech unit focused on payments and a new strategy to meet the travel industry as payments evolve.
Booking.com Senior Vice President of FinTech Daniel Marovitz said the ecosystem for global end-to-end travel is vital, and financial friction has been a persistent issue in travel.
PYMNTS research found that there’s 44% of U.S. consumers who have made travel bookings have canceled or rescheduled because of pandemic concerns.
Marovitz said other points of friction include foreign exchange (FX), destinations’ seasonality and the way payments are evolving.
Marovitz said Booking is gaining more of an advantage through experimenting on its platform, along with smart data use. Data has helped travel partners manage cash flow more efficiently, with algorithms able to predict if a reservation is likely to be canceled.