Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), the parent company of Corporate Traveller and one of the world’s largest travel companies, recently announced two new investments in our “Labs” program that will help bolster our capabilities to incubate and bring to market emerging travel technologies to our corporate brands.
These two additions further increase the initiatives portfolio in key areas such as mobile and artificial intelligence (“AI”) and increase the program’s footprint to the technology development hubs of Barcelona and Bangkok.
Sam :], the award-winning mobile app already used by many of FCTG's corporate brands in several markets, has been fully acquired. FCTG secured an initial 25% holding in Sam :] back in 2017 when it acquired its holding in Paris-based 3Mundi. As a result of the recent deal, FCTG has now become the sole owner and licensor of the product and will continue to drive the product roadmap to meet the needs of its corporate customers globally.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Sam :] team fully into the Flight Centre family,” said John Morhous, Chief Experience Officer, FCTG Corporate Brands. “We’ve worked closely with the team and product for many years now and look forward to continuing to drive mobile innovation through the platform”. Sam :] is currently used within Corporate Traveller, FCM Travel Solutions, Campus Travel, and Stage and Screen Travel, across 40+ FCTG markets.
In addition, FCTG has increased its investment in 30SecondsToFly and its Claire product. FCTG will have a 2-year exclusive use of Claire in the large global TMC (Travel Management Company) category, and the product will be fully integrated into Sam :] to provide AI-powered chat and booking capability for customers. The investment will increase FCTG's stake in 30SecondsToFly to approximately 10%.
“Having worked with Flight Centre for a few years after their first investment, we know that they are an excellent investor and we’re very pleased that they have led our latest financing round. FCTG has given us great help in building technology for TMCs and they fully support our plan to scale into the TMC market and establish Claire as the new standard for TMC call centre automation. We are looking forward to implementing our technology for more of their customers.” said Riccardo Vittoria, CEO of 30SecondsToFly.
FCTG demonstrated the latest iteration of these technologies during the recent Business Travel Show in London, on February 21st and 22nd. The show featured the launch of the Sam :] platform for the Corporate Traveller brand within the UK, with the Claire booking engine directly embedded into the platform.
About our Labs Initiative
The “Labs” initiative is our dedicated business travel technology centre based in strategic locations around the world working on some of the most exciting and engaging solutions in the corporate travel sector. Sam :] our global mobile travel assistant, and the latest in AI functionality are just some of the latest enhancements to our offering being deployed across our corporate brands. These development processes can include anything ranging from a commercial relationship to full acquisition of a business and/or creation of proprietary technology products.
Our current Labs in Boston, London, Barcelona, and now Bangkok, are complemented by FCTG’s leisure technology investments, including the acquisition of Umapped in 2018, and membership in the Plug and Play corporate incubation program in the travel and hospitality sector, where FCTG was awarded its corporate innovation award in 2018.
About Sam :]
Sam:] is an IOS and android application that supports travellers with itinerary management and intelligent notifications. Key features include the ability for travellers to automatically sync calendars and TMC data, allowing travellers to view, change or cancel trips; receive alerts and notifications throughout trips; and integrate travel arrangements with other apps and providers.
For more info about Sam :], click here.
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