TORONTO — A new partnership between Flair Airlines and travel tech company GO7 aims to put Flair bookings front and centre with travel advisors via the GDS, but like with most ultra low-cost carriers, there’s still no commission.
Announced today, the partnership using GO7’s travel distribution technology will enable Flair to connect to global distribution systems (GDS), bringing Flair tickets to GDS-connected travel agents in Canada and around the world. Through its own IATA code (W1), GO7 allows airline customers to immediately sell their flights in the GDS.
It’s all part of Flair’s growth strategy through expanded distribution.
Flair’s growth plan is 50 aircraft by 2025, and back in September 2022 Flair CEO Stephen Jones told a media conference “we’re well on track for that.” With its expanding fleet of B737 aircraft, and 1,000+ employees, Flair, which launched in 2017, has expanded to serve 35+ cities across Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the D.R.
Flair’s just-released July 2023 stats include 481,808 passengers flown for the month, and a load factor of 88%. The airline says 71% of its flights arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time in July, and flight completion factor was 99.3%.
It’s a big improvement over July 2022, when Flair along with many of Canada’s other airlines struggled with delays and cancellations.
Earlier this summer Flair also announced it had ramped up its customer service efforts with the formation of a specialist customer service team, after CTA data showed that Flair had the highest number of complaints per 100 flights of all the major airlines in Canada.
GDS CONNECTIONS WITH GO7 PARTNERSHIP
Travelweek reached out to Flair to ask about the new GDS availability, and agent commissions.
A spokesperson for the airline told Travelweek: “We look forward to working with partners from the travel trade industry. Although Flair’s primary focus is on direct sales, we recognize that certain segments of the market still value the ability to book through a travel agent. That said, we don’t pay commission. We offer low fares which are attractive for agents’ customers.”
GO7 and Flair say their partnership will help the airline extend its sales reach to a broader customer base via indirect channels such traditional travel agencies and OTAs, who can now book Flair seats directly via the GDS using the W1 code.
“As an ultra-low-cost airline, our business model relies on keeping our expenses low. GO7’s innovative and no-complexity approach to expansion is exactly what our airline needs to grow,” said Garth Lund, Flair’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Peer Winter, Chief Distribution Officer of GO7, adds that “Flair’s mission to make travel into and throughout Canada and North America more accessible to locals and tourists aligns with our vision for democratizing air travel. Our solutions will help Flair achieve its goals by enabling the airline to expand its sales network to over 100,000 IATA global agencies that can now access and ticket Flair Airlines flights through the GDS, increasing exposure in new markets to support the airline’s ambitious growth plans.”