The Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX: FLT) has strengthened its technology roadmap via a strategic investment in a business that is enhancing airline-travel agent connectivity.
The company has secured a 22.47% interest in TPConnects Technologies LLC, a Dubai-based business with a next generation New Distribution Capability (NDC), Global Distribution System (GDS) and ONE Order based travel technology platform and software development resources.
FLT has also entered into a commercial agreement with TPConnects to access Software as a Service (SaaS) functions and use its International Air Transport Association (IATA) NDC Certified Travel Aggregator platform, which aggregates NDC and GDS content.
NDC and ONE Order are key transformational projects, launched by IATA to modernise and simplify airline distribution.
Greg Parker, the executive general manager of FLT’s global air distribution business, said:
“This investment ensures we are at the forefront of developments in an exciting new era of distribution and connectivity and that our company and customers have access to the widest choice of airfares and content, including offers that sometimes sit outside the traditional channels.
“We’ve been working closely with TPConnects and have been impressed by the capability and flexibility of its NDC-enabled retailing and distribution technology (TPConnects NDC based Travel Aggregator Platform).
“The TPConnects SaaS platform enables agencies to intelligently control content sources across all major GDS providers, as well as directly connected NDC application programming interfaces (APIs), ensuring the best content is surfaced for customers.
“Within our business, this investment will help deliver innovative, next generation solutions and drive consistency in the end-to-end agency process.
“We look forward to working with our preferred partners to leverage connectivity to drive additional retailing capabilities at scale and to provide our leisure and corporate customers with an easy-to-use and highly personalised one-stop shop for trip planning, shopping and booking.”
TPConnects is headquartered in Dubai and was founded in 2012 by Rajendran Vellapalath, who will continue to run the business in conjunction with his management team.
It is one of the first IATA NDC and ONE Order focused travel technology companies and works with both airlines and travel agents throughout the world.
The terms of the investment are immaterial to FLT and are currently confidential.