Wings Travel Management is establishing operations to service the Saudi Arabian market, commencing travel management services to one of its Fortune 200 tiered clients based in the Kingdom.
In light of this development and the interest expressed by other clients, Wings has advanced the establishment of a Saudi Arabian registered company.
Wings has operated in the Middle East via its wholly owned Dubai office since 2009, but this expansion will strengthen the travel management company’s presence in the region significantly, enabling staff to provide more localised support to Wings’ oil and gas clients in Saudi Arabia.
Wings Travel Management chief executive Tony Sofianos explained that establishing operations in Saudi Arabia is of strategic importance to its oil and gas division.
“We have been servicing many large oil and gas, marine, and corporate clients in the Middle East for a number of years, primarily from our operations in Dubai, and supported by our operations in the UK, Africa and the Americas,” he said.
“The Middle East remains an important market for these industries, and the Dubai operation served as a shared service centre for our global operations.
“The establishment of a Saudi Arabia operation will further strengthen our capabilities in servicing the oil and gas market in the Middle East, and businesses globally that have interests within the region.”
To meet the demands of the oil and gas industry, Wings Travel Management has established operations in strategically important geographical locations, namely Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Aberdeen, Dubai, Lagos, Luanda, and Cape Town.
Both the Saudi Arabia and Dubai operations will be wholly-owned and controlled by the Wings Group. Sofianos stated that this is a key and significant differentiator in the Middle East region.
“Most of our competitors operate franchise or partner network models in this area,” he said.
“We have also identified that their ownership and management in both the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are different, further reinforcing the strength of our wholly-owned business model, as well as the opportunity.
“This will allow us to deliver seamless travel management and logistics solutions.
“Most importantly, with a common technology platform and common control, we have the ability to seamlessly procure throughout our global network, which we believe will deliver cost saving opportunities to an industry that is in distress.
“Partner and franchise networks may claim that they can also procure globally, but we don’t believe this can be done on a sustainable basis given that P&Ls in such a structure are all independently owned.”