Qantas acquires majority stake in online travel agency – Australian Aviation

A Qantas A330-300, photographed by Victor Pody.

Qantas has acquired a majority stake in TripADeal, a Byron Bay-based online travel agency, allowing frequent Qantas flyers to access new vacation packages using their points.

Secured by Qantas Loyalty, the airline’s loyalty subsidiary, the deal provides a mechanism for Qantas to acquire the remaining 49% of the company in four years.

The news comes just weeks after Qantas also made an offer to buy the remaining shares of Alliance Airlines, three years after acquiring a 19.9% ​​stake in the carrier.

Qantas said its latest move will allow Qantas Loyalty to “immediately expand its exposure to the estimated $13 billion online package holiday booking market” as demand for leisure travel continues to rise .

“It’s a great opportunity at the perfect time. Coming out of the pandemic, people want a special but also tried and tested holiday experience, and there’s a huge shift towards online booking,” the Qantas CEO said. , Alan Joyce.

“This is exactly what TripADeal does. It’s an Australian success story built on delivering ready-made holidays at very competitive prices, and their level of loyal customers shows just how well they do.

“Our partnership with TripADeal means we can incorporate Qantas Points into the equation, which is great news for our frequent flyers and for our loyalty business more broadly. The purchase of a majority stake at the same time allows us to benefit from the strong growth that will result.

Frequent flyers will be able to redeem their points on vacation packages booked through TripADeal, regardless of the airline used in the offer, and can also earn three points for every dollar spent on a package.

Loyalty members can also choose to use the “points plus payment” options.

According to the airline, TripADeal has relationships with thousands of direct suppliers, including hotels, tour operators and other suppliers, as well as its own tour guides based in more than 30 countries. The company grew more than 40% annually in the year before the pandemic, with bookings of more than $200 million.

Qantas expects that by tapping into its loyalty program base of 14 million members, it can generate a “significant increase” in revenue from TripADeal in the coming years.

“The ways to earn points on the pitch are constantly expanding and we know the main thing people want to spend those points on is travel,” added Joyce.

“That’s why the opportunities TripADeal opens up for our frequent travelers will be so positive.”

Earlier this month, Australian Aviation announced that Qantas had announced its intention to buy Alliance Aviation’s remaining 80.1% stake, which would see Alliance become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas.

Qantas said the move would allow it to “better serve the growing resource sector”.

It came just a month after the ACCC finally cleared Qantas’ stake in the airline, following a three-year investigation into its impact on competition.

Alliance currently holds wet lease agreements with Qantas and Virgin, for the use of its fleet for regional, charter and fly-in fly-out operations.

Qantas said its existing deal with Alliance will continue to operate as normal until a deal is finalized.

Qantas said the remaining 80.1% share of Alliance would be acquired through a plan of arrangement, under which Alliance shareholders receive Qantas shares worth $4.75 for each share held in Alliance.

Alliance directors unanimously recommended the program, but the final deal will require formal approval from the competition watchdog, as well as Alliance shareholders.

Willie R. Golden