Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), one of the world’s largest travel companies employing more than 20,000 people worldwide with over 30 brands in 23 countries, has announced two new investments in its “Labs” initiative that will help bolster its capabilities to incubate and bring to market emerging travel technologies to its corporate brands.
These two additions enhance the initiative’s portfolio in key areas such as mobile and artificial intelligence (AI) and increase the Lab programme’s footprint at its technology development hubs in Barcelona and Bangkok.
Sam, the ground-breaking mobile app for business travellers, already used by Flight Centre’s corporate brands FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller in over 40 markets, has been fully acquired. FCTG secured an initial 25 per cent stake in Sam in 2017 when it acquired a holding in FCM’s partner in France, Paris-based 3Mundi. As a result of the 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”.
In addition, Flight Centre has increased its investment in 30SecondsToFly and its Claire AI-booking engine product. FCTG will have exclusive use of Claire for the next two years in the large global travel management company sector, thus enhancing its AI booking capabilities for corporate clients. The investment will increase FCTG’s stake in 30SecondsToFly to approximately 10 per cent.