BOSTON (CBS) – The Global Business Travel Association opened its annual conference at Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center on Sunday with record attendance of more than 6,000 guests expected this week.
The opening session featured remarks by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, Tom Horton.
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will address attendees at luncheon sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The annual GBTA Conference is the number one gathering of world business travel managers and travel suppliers. The GBTA last held its summer meeting in Boston in 2007. It is scheduled to return again in 2017.
“Politicians shy away from challenges because the leaders don’t trust the people,” said Rendell who is also a former mayor of Philadelphia.
“If the election was held today, Obama would win on the electoral state votes, but Romney would win the popular vote, but there’s a long way to go,” he added.
Rendell also said that the debates would be key for the undecided vote this fall.
At the close of his remarks Rendell spoke about the shootings in Colorado.
He made a plea for Congress to pass a bill that outlaw any ammunition clips holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.
In a separate presentation, Horton said his airline was making progress in bankruptcy and he hoped American would compete with the best airlines in the world.
“There is no option, but success,” said Horton, who also indicated that a possible merger is not out of the question.
American also has the largest order of new aircraft in the U.S. and would be taking delivery of 60 new jets next year.
Horton thanked the business travel managers for their continuing support of American and hinted that the airline may be developing a new logo and color scheme for its aircraft.
Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.