FLIGHT Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) has enhanced its preferred supplier network after inking a deal with AirAsia Group.
The commercial agreement will see the travel group and airline join forces to promote special deals and create new offerings for customers to grow the outbound travel market.
Flight Centre Australia executive general manager Melanie Waters-Ryan says the deal will deliver tangible benefits to both companies and the public.
"AirAsia has a strong network and its key destinations, including Bali, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur and Krabi, are among the most popular holiday destinations for FLT's customers and Australian travellers in general," Waters-Ryan says.
"In addition to gaining full access to the airline's offers, including special sales fares that are being released today, we will look to create new and unique products and packages for our customers, which is a key global strategy for FLT.
"This new agreement also reinforces Flight Centre's commitment to working with all major airlines in Australia to offer the widest choice of airfares to the travelling public."
The airfare range includes fares available through global distribution systems, fares on AirAsia's website and fares facilitated by Flight Centre.
The agreement follows discussions in Australia with AirAsia's senior management team, including AirAsia X acting CEO Benyamin Ismail and head of global sales and distribution Aboudy Nasser.
Ismail says the airline has recognised growth opportunities in Australia, to reinforce its network across Asia.
"By working more closely with FLT, we can highlight our offerings to the company's extensive customer database and proactively promote to travellers across all of the company's brands and sales channels, particularly its 1000 retail travel shops," he says.
"This brand diversity is important because the traditional low cost carrier (LCC) model is evolving and gaining popularity among a broader customer base.
"While budget conscious travellers often look to LCCs, we are also seeing increased interest from other demographics, including those who are looking to save on the flight component of their holidays and spend more on accommodation."
Flight Centre will be able to access AirAsia's full product range as part of the agreement.
Image: AirAsia Group co-founder and AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner.
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