THE Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has strengthened its preferred supplier network after signing a commercial agreement with the AirAsia Group.
The agreement is the airline’s first in Australia and will see FLT and AirAsia work together proactively to promote the airline’s fares, create new and unique offerings for customers and grow the outbound travel market.
“AirAsia has a strong network and its key destinations – including Bali, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur and Krabi – are among the most popular holiday destinations for FLT’s customers and Australian travellers in general,” Flight Centre Australia executive general manager Melanie Waters-Ryan said.
“We look forward to working more closely with the AirAsia team and believe this relationship will deliver tangible benefits to both companies and to the travelling public in general.
“In addition to gaining full access to the airline’s offers, including special sales fares that are being released today, we will look to create new and unique products and packages for our customers, which is a key global strategy for FLT.
“This new agreement also reinforces Flight Centre’s commitment to working with all major airlines in Australia to offer the widest choice of airfares to the travelling public.
“This extensive airfare range includes:
- Fares that are widely available via the various Global Distribution Systems
- Fares that are available on airlines’ websites; and
- Hundreds of other fares that are manufactured by or unique to the Flight Centre Travel Group.”
The agreement follows recent talks in Australia with AirAsia’s senior management team, including AirAsia X acting CEO Benyamin Ismail and head of global sales and distribution Aboudy Nasser.
“AirAsia sees solid growth opportunities in Australia and is focussed on reinforcing the benefits of the strength of our network across Asia to over 100 destinations including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, India,” Mr Ismail said.
“By working more closely with FLT, we can highlight our offerings to the company’s extensive customer database and proactively promote to travellers across all of the company’s brands and sales channels, particularly its 1000 retail travel shops..
“This brand diversity is important because the traditional low cost carrier (LCC) model is evolving and gaining popularity among a broader customer base.
“While budget conscious travellers often look to LCCs, we are also seeing increased interest from other demographics, including those who are looking to save on the flight component of their holidays and spend more on accommodation.”
AirAsia Group co-founder and AirAsia X Group CEO, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said, ”AirAsia’s low cost model has provided direct access for many first time travellers to experience overseas travel, but we also recognise the importance of entering strategic partnerships with established retail leaders like FLT in countries such as Australia.”
The agreement will see FLT gain access to AirAsia’s full product range via an application programming interface (API) into the Global Distribution System.
To celebrate the new agreement, special promo fares will be available from this Friday as part of Flight Centre’s Friday Flight Club.