Australian airline Qantas announced today that it has acquired 51% of TripADeal, an Australian-made online travel company. The deal provides Qantas with a pathway to purchase the remaining 49% over four years, at an agreed multiple of TripADeals bookings at that time.

Qantas frequent flyers can now earn and redeem points on a TripADeal package holiday, regardless of which airline is part of the package. These include exploring Antarctica, beach vacations in Bali, ski trips in Japan, African safaris or wine tastings in South Australia. Frequent flyers can book vacations using their points or “points plus payment” and will earn three points for every dollar spent with TripADeal.

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Interestingly, the ad details packages to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, Delhi in India and Bali in Indonesia. These are all popular routes for Qantas, and the airline is no doubt hoping to fill its Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s and A330s with passengers booking TripADeal holidays.

A good deal for Qantas, TripADeal and frequent flyers

The Airbus A330 is a long-haul workhorse in the Qantas fleet and will benefit from TripADeal’s great exposure in the leisure market. Photo: Getty Images

The beauty of this deal is that the benefits go both ways, to Qantas and TripADeal. Qantas is immediately expanding its exposure to the A$13 billion ($9.2 billion) online package holiday booking market while TripADeal taps into 14 million frequent travellers.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said TripADeal is “an Australian success story built on providing ready-made holidays at very competitive prices and their level of repeat customers shows how well they do this”.

“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. Buying a majority stake at the same time means that we can benefit from the strong growth that will follow as a result.”

Qantas is returning part of its fleet of 12 A380s to long-haul operations, on popular routes including London and Los Angeles. Photo: Qantas

Qantas Loyalty delivers during COVID and has a bright future with TripADeal

Founded by Norm Black and Richard Johnston in 2011, TripADeal specializes in vacation packages with fixed itineraries including flights, hotel accommodations and tours. It employs around 100 people in two of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. It also has dedicated staff in over 30 countries to take care of its customers’ field experiences. It will continue to use a range of airlines for its vacation packages, including Qantas and Jetstar.

The success of TripADeal is based on its thousands of direct relationships with hotels, tour operators and tour operators. These relationships allow TripADeal to put together packages at great prices, and in the 12 months before the pandemic, its bookings exceeded 200 million Australian dollars. Qantas Loyalty is targeting a return to double-digit growth in 2022 and an underlying EBIT of A$500-600 million by FY24.

During COVID, Qantas Loyalty has seen increased revenue and record levels of points redemption and member engagement. Points redemption has doubled from pre-COVID levels, with Qantas Holidays, Qantas Hotels and Jetstar Holidays reducing required points by 30% or more.

Joyce added, “The ways to earn points on the pitch are constantly expanding, and we know that the number one thing people want to spend those points on is travel. That’s why the opportunities TripADeal opens up for our frequent flyers will be so positive.”

Interestingly, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is moving quickly to lay off staff, such as baggage handlers, but also moving quickly to add new revenue streams. Is an airline that sells travel taking a step back in time?


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