Flight Centre secures majority stake in TPConnects Technologies

Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has increased its equity interest in Dubai-based TPConnects Technologies (TPC) from 22.5 per cent to 70 per cent.

It first invested in TPC in February 2020 with a view to supercharging the development of TPC’s innovative technology platform, which aggregates content from multiple sources including GDSs; low-cost carriers; emerging supplier-direct channels, specifically airlines’ New Distribution Capability (NDC) offerings; and other third party NDC aggregators.

Flight Centre Travel Group’s majority stake in TPConnects Technologies will allow it to respond better to an ever-changing travel distribution landscape

FLT’s leisure and supply chief executive officer Melanie Waters-Ryan explained that the traditional airline distribution model was being disrupted by growing direct buyer-seller connections, new commercial models, increasing presence of new entrant technology providers, and continuing connectivity enhancements.

Waters-Ryan said investing in TPC would enable FLT to ensure it could “source and deliver the best content to our leisure and corporate customers globally” amid the ever-changing distribution landscape.

“TPC has been at the heart of the evolution in airfare distribution during the past decade, and is now engrained in our business and integral to the new operating systems and platforms we are delivering in both the leisure and corporate sectors,” she added.

“By investing further in the business, we have greater influence over future developments and the product’s ongoing evolution, while ensuring we continue to deliver the widest choice of airfares to our customers. Fast-tracking future developments will also provide FLT with a better opportunity to be ahead of our competitors’ comparable solutions,” she said.

FLT’s majority stake in TPC will also bring other commercial benefits such as lower costs in accessing NDC content, access to NDC-related incentives that airlines are increasingly offering to their travel agency partners, and access to new revenue streams through TPC’s offerings to airlines and other travel agency groups, among others.

Rajendran Vellapalath, CEO of TPC, said: “FLT’s investment comes at an important time, given the rapid changes that are taking place in the distribution of air content and with the development of the Airline Retailing Maturity Index, which IATA is now pioneering.”

He believes that “the strong relationship between TPC and FLT will ensure that both companies remain at the forefront of this ongoing change and play a lead role in the future evolution of distribution”.

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