Wings Travel Management acquires specialist Oil & Gas TMC In Norway

By Thabi Sibeko

12th January 2016 - Wings Travel Management is expanding its presence in Europe with the announcement that the company has acquired Travelnet Stavanger in Norway for an undisclosed sum, effective 1st March 2016.

Founded in 2001, Travelnet Stavanger specialises in providing travel management services to clients predominantly in the oil, gas and marine sector from its office in Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. The company’s client portfolio ranges from start-up businesses to multi-national blue-chip organisations with a spend in excess of £3m. The Travelnet Stavanger team, who collectively have some 80 years’ business travel experience, will migrate to Wings’ global technology platform over the next two months and fully re-brand as Wings Travel Management during the course of 2016.

The addition of Norway to Wings’ geographic spread, means that the travel management and logistics company now has 12 owned and controlled operations on five continents within key oil and gas markets worldwide, including Angola, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE, United Kingdom (including two offices in Scotland) and USA. As announced in December 2015, Wings is also now servicing clients in Saudi Arabia and has registered to establish a company in Dammam in early 2016.

Tony Sofianos, CEO, Wings Travel Management explained: “This acquisition is of strategic importance because the oil, gas and marine sectors account for around 60 per cent of Wings’ global business and Norway is a key market in this sector. Stavanger in particular is a hub for the oil and gas industry with close ties to Aberdeen. We felt the time was right for Wings to have a local presence in order to service our existing clients more effectively, as well as grow our business in the long term. Travelnet Stavanger understands the specific requirements of clients in the energy sector, so the company was an ideal fit with Wings.

“As the Wings brand gains momentum globally, our focus remains on owned and controlled operations versus franchises, partner networks and joint ventures so that we can ensure consistency of service, quality and data integrity for our customers,” he added. “By having a wholly-owned presence in Norway using our global standardised technology platform, we will be able to source competitive fares globally from any of our operations. Other benefits include effective consolidated data integrity, irrespective of where the service is sourced. Whilst this may be possible with franchise or partner networks, it is not sustainable, given that their P&Ls are independent. This aspect of Wings’ value proposition is very powerful at a time when our oil and gas clients are focusing on costs heavily, given the immense downturn in this industry.”

Kirsten Husebø, General Manager Travelnet Stavanger said: “We are very positive about the opportunities that Wings will create for Travelnet Stavanger and are looking forward to working with the new owners and management to further develop the operation in Norway. A key advantage of this acquisition is that it gives us access to global business travel products and services through the Wings network of offices across the world.”

Tore Christiansen, CEO of Travelnet Stavanger’s parent company, SFF Group, added: “We are delighted to have found a global and professional new owner for Travelnet Stavanger. We have been searching for new management for a while as we saw the demand for a more global approach and the need to increase the volume of the business. In order to secure this growth and further development, we are convinced that the Wings organization was the right choice for us to support the employees and our clients’ future requirements. We will continue to support Wings after the take-over being a part of their customer base, both in Norway as well as internationally”

About Wings Travel Management: Wings has carved a niche in the market as a trusted travel provider for clients in the oil, gas and marine sector, as well as corporate clients operating in service- and people-critical industries where travel is an integral part of their business. Founded in 1992, Wings’ global reach spans North America, South America, UK/Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, where the company has wholly owned and managed regional offices.

Wings is known for its unique expertise in navigating complex and challenging energy-related business travel, as well as its advanced, customizable technology solutions, all seamlessly accessible over a standardised global platform. The company is ISO 9001 certified, and manages its global operations with a quality management system that provides clients with comprehensive reports, including the proprietary Wings Incident-Free Index™, which tracks the performance of all service and supplier transactions.