How Flight Centre and Sabre’s new partnership will impact agents

Mature couple showing feet from under the covers.

Flight Centre has had a bit of a crazy night, getting busy with tech provider Sabre.

And when we say ‘busy’, we mean extending and amplifying a partnership between the two companies which will impact the way Flight Centre agents “shop, book and manage travel content”.

The arrangement will see Sabre providing its distribution services as well as the new Sabre Red Workspace to Flight Centre travel agents in Australia and New Zealand.

This new agreement comes following continued growth and success of Flight Centre’s relationship with Sabre in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

FLT managing director Graham Turner said: “We are delighted to have extended our relationship with Sabre.

“One of our key global strategies has been to increase productivity and we believe that Sabre’s strong product suite, which is now fully implemented in Australia and New Zealand, will help us build on the success we are already having in this regard.”

Sabre has already upgraded more than 1,300 Flight Centre locations to the new Sabre Red Workspace, representing nearly 9,500 travel agents, resulting in a solid increase in conversions compared to the same time last year.

Additionally, Sabre has been able to reduce the amount of time associated with initial training and onboarding of Flight Centre staff, in addition to providing a system designed to allow consultants to up-sell and cross-sell more effectively.

“Flight Centre is a thought leader and ours is a natural partnership,” said Wade Jones, president of Sabre Travel Network.

“We share a common belief and vision that the right technology solutions coupled with scale and innovation will deliver the kind of shopping and retailing experience that travelers want, while delivering the efficiency and speed that agents need.”

“Since expanding our relationship and rolling out the new Sabre Red Workspace, Flight Centre travel agents are already seeing the promising results that we expect from our highly-intuitive and ultra-fast desktop solution.”

Under the agreement, Flight Centre Travel Group will use the Sabre GDS as one of its key platforms to shop, book and manage travel content from among 400 airlines, 900,000 hotel options, 24 car rental brands and 14 cruise lines.

In February, Flight Centre released its half-yearly results which revealed a record global sales, with a $139.4 million profit before tax (PBT) for the period.

This is an increase of 23.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

As well as this, the total transactional value (TTV) exceeded the unprecedented FY17 result by more than $800m, roughly 8.7 per cent.

Most interesting, however, is the growth in online.

Online sales again increased strongly, with FLT’s specialist OTAs (BYOjet, StudentUniverse and Aunt Betty) achieved a growth of 27 per cent.

Speaking on the results, FLT Managing Director Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner said: “Generally, we can be pleased with our performance to date, given that we are tracking at or near record levels in most key financial areas.”

Check out the full results here.

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