The Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) is increasing its investment in travel technology business TP Connects (TPC), a move the company says will provide customers with the "widest choice of airfares."
FLT has agreed to increase its equity interest from 22.5 per cent to 70 per cent in the Dubai-based software as a service (SaaS) business, which it says "has been at the forefront of ongoing changes to traditional distribution models."
FLT initially invested in TPC in February 2020 with a view to supercharging the development of TPC’s innovative technology platform, which aims to shape the future of travel distribution by aggregating content from multiple sources such as global distribution systems (GDSs), direct feeds from low-cost carriers (LCCs), emerging supplier-direct channels and other third party NDC aggregators.
"TPC has a proven track record in NDC and provides a centralized NDC Gateway which services customers in both the aviation and travel agency sectors," FLT said in a release on Monday (March 14). "The business offers travel agents a range of solutions to access aggregated air content via the TPC universal API (application programming interface), which can be directly integrated into any user interface, or via agency business-to-business (B2B) platforms such as the NDCmarketplace portal."
Chris Galanty, global CEO of Flight Centre Corporate, believes FLT’s increased stake in TP Connects firmly positions the company’s corporate businesses at the forefront of the developments that are taking place in the distribution landscape.
“As airlines continue to disrupt the way in which they distribute their content, we recognize the need to be able to offer a seamless and integrated experience for our clients that gathers the broadest range of relevant content through all available channels,” said Galanty. “By strengthening our investment and deepening our alliance with TP Connects, we are able to leverage their expertise and NDC-enabled technology to enhance our ability to service our corporate customers and meet their travel program aims both in terms of options and value."
“In this dynamic environment, it’s critical that we continuously evolve innovative solutions that complement our GDS partnerships and keep us a step ahead from our competitors now and in the future – and our collaboration with TP Connects does just that.”
In utilizing TPC technology, the company’s corporate customers automatically benefit from the widest choice of global content, access to best available rates as well as exclusive private fares – "all fully supported by expert travel consultants."
FLT’s corporate businesses continues to leverage significant technology investments to improve customer experience and meet the needs of business travellers in the pandemic era.
These include the acquisitions of booking technology specialist WhereTo, mobile chatbot platform Sam, and most recently, the Shep browser extension tool.
“We are proud of our reputation as a leader in the tech travel space, borne through a strategy of continuous development and complementary investment and acquisition. By integrating innovative solutions such as TP Connects into our already powerful platform capabilities, we are better able to support our corporate clients and propel their businesses forward in this changed world,” added Galanty.