Wings Travel Management has announced the acquisition of the energy and corporate travel business of Associated Travel in Louisiana, marking an expansion of its footprint in the market.

The agreement with the Lafeyette-based company takes effect on 1 November and gives Wings a presence in a second major energy sector hub in addition to its existing operation in Houston.

Founded in 1967, Associated Travel provides online and offline business travel management to Louisiana-based energy sector companies as well as other corporate clients. It also offers leisure, film and group travel services. Following the sale, Associated Travel will continue serving its leisure and group travel clientele from its current office in Lafayette and CEO Robbie Bush (pictured, left) will retain ownership and management of these areas of the business.

The energy and corporate sector business will operate under the Wings Travel Management brand, with day-to-day operations to be managed by a Wings senior management team including Chris Martin, VP of business development, Americas, based in Houston. All current corporate travel staff of Associated Travel will also become part of Wings.

Wings said it will introduce its proprietary mid-office system TMA, which enables all of its offices globally to operate off an identical centralised global platform and database, giving clients real-time traveller tracking, on-demand reporting and access to multiple travel content aggregators.

According to Wings, Louisiana is the “gateway to America’s energy corridor” and the number two producer of crude oil and number four of natural gas in the US.

CEO Tony Sofianos (pictured, right) commented: “We are very excited to announce our expansion in the US with the acquisition of Associated Travel’s energy and corporate sector business. 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$300 million in projected sales in this region.”

Bush 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 news comes after Wings reported an influx of energy sector business.

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