Tigerair Australia and Flight Centre Travel Group have agreed to a three-year strategic partnership to proactively promote the airline’s services and offers to Flight Centre’s customer base in Australia.
The deal says a lot about the incredible retail power of Flight Centre, which is not only surviving in the online age but prospering mightily.
As aviation reporter Ben Sandilands writes in his Plane Talking blog on Crikey.com.au today: “The capacity of big brand travel agents to survive reflects the buying and travel habits of young professionals… Tiger is doing nothing more or less than getting professional retail help to capture more customers than it could if it relied exclusively on its own booking site.” Sandilands’ take on the Tiger/Flight Centre deal is well worth reading: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2016/01/07/tigerair-teams-up-with-flight-centre-to-hunt-better-in-the-jungle/
The agreement, the first between Flight Centre and Tigerair (the latter now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia), will see the two parties join forces to coordinate sales and marketing efforts, significantly growing the distribution channels for Tigerair Australia’s airfares and broad range of ancillary products.
The deal follows similar agreements between Flight Centre and Scoot and AirAsia X. Flight Centre will gain full access to Tiger’s full suite of domestic flights as well as flights to Bali, set to launch in March.
Flight Centre chief executive Graham Turner said the new agreement with Tigerair again highlighted Flight Centre’s commitment to offering travellers the widest choice of airfares.
“Tigerair has developed a solid presence on domestic and (commencing soon) international routes and its offering has become an attractive proposition for our leisure and corporate travel customers,” Turner said.
“We look forward to working more closely with Tigerair to grow the market and help it achieve its aims as it enters its next phase of growth.”
Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp said the partnership provided numerous mutually beneficial sales and marketing opportunities.
“Tigerair consistently provides the best value airfares in market. We provide the seat for the lowest fare possible and then allow our customers to choose what, if any, optional extras they wish to pay for.
“Flight Centre has some 1500 retail and corporate travel shops and businesses in Australia alone and a dedicated sales team of 7000 people committed to providing the best value airfare and travel deals. Not only does the partnership open up new sales and distribution channels, it also helps drive awareness of the new-look Tigerair product and experience.
“It’s a great time for this strategic alignment as we look forward to the commencement of our first ever direct services from Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide to Bali in March. At the same time, Tigerair continues to go from strength to strength, delivering on the promises we made to consumers when we rebranded the airline in July 2013.
“We remain focused on providing our customers with affordable fares, combined with on-time flights, industry leading lowest cancellation rates and great customer service. The new look Tigerair is now delivering on all fronts. It’s a fantastic product that will provide Flight Centre customers with more value and choice than ever before,” Sharp said.
He added that while the partnership with Flight Centre was a deviation from the original true low-cost model which is focused on self-service and direct online bookings via the Tigerair website, it is also reflective of all the changes in the air at Tigerair.
“We are now working with a number of travel agents where it makes commercial sense, which is particularly important for our new Bali services commencing 23 March 2016. (Flights between Australia and Denpasar will be operated by Virgin Australia International providing a Tigerair Australia service and are subject to regulatory approval.)
“Tigerair’s great value fares have been proven to stimulate and grow the air travel market in Australia. We see this partnership as win-win for both companies as we both seek to drive incremental demand for our products.”
Tigerair Australia now has a dedicated agency support team to assist travel agents with any queries or make changes to bookings. Soon the airline will introduce real time live chat sessions to help agents assist with sales queries.
Edited by Peter Needham