Big win for Amex GBT as it signs on Google to be its sole TMC

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Tech giant Google has appointed American Express Global Business Travel as its sole global TMC on a long-term contract, GBT has confirmed to BTN Europe.

An independent industry source who informed BTN Europe about Google's move from its previous travel agency, CWT, speculated it marks a shift toward a more tightly managed travel program for the company.

GBT also confirmed speculation that it has been appointed by PayPal, Palantir and Eli Lilly and Company, who have also moved across in recent months.

All four companies are understood to have appointed GBT as their sole global TMC on long-term contracts and are now in the early stages of implementation.

Meanwhile, BCD is also believed to be close to announcing a significant business win, with client movement showing little sign of slowing down in the current environment.

A statement provided by GBT said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Google. Our value proposition at GBT is rooted in delivering secure, managed travel and meetings programs. We look forward to creating an experience for Googlers that reflects the environment of innovation, creativity and diversity in which they operate around the world."

CWT said it does not comment on customers but added its client retention rate is more than 96 percent this year, consistent with its running rate over the past four years.

Google recently ranked fourth in BTN's Corporate Travel 100 with around $400 million of U.S.-booked air travel in 2019, when CWT was its primary TMC and handled 50 percent of both U.S. and globally booked air volume.

The organization is known to have taken a non-mandated, 'open booking' approach to its corporate travel program in the past.

PayPal ranked 96th in the Corporate Travel 100 with $44 million of U.S.-booked air travel in 2019, while pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was 99th with $38 million of U.S.-booked air travel.

Originally published in BTN Europe.

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