Flair Airlines has announced a partnership with GO7 to enhance booking visibility on the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) for travel advisors.
By using GO7’s sub-hosting tech, which provides a pseudo-airline IATA code (W1), Flair can connect to various GDS and OTA platforms. As such, GO7’s service allows Flair to expedite its distribution capabilities more swiftly than it could by creating new bilateral relationships with individual GDSs from scratch.
According to Flair’s release: “The partnership with GO7 will help Flair extend its sales reach to a broader customer base via indirect channels such as OTAs and traditional travel agencies, who can now book Flair seats directly via the GDS.”
Whether or not the expanded distribution will result in commissions being paid to retailers remains to be seen. Open Jaw has reached out to Flair for comment on compensation to advisors.
Back in JAN2017, Open Jaw reported that Flair Airlines had begun selling seats through Amadeus with plans to further open the agency channel with deals with additional GDS. than it could by creating new bilateral relationships with individual GDSs from scratch.
This agreement was the airline’s first step towards joining more global distribution systems.
Established in 2017, the Edmonton-based ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) caters to over 35 destinations in Canada and North America. By utilizing GO7’s distribution services, Flair has the capability to efficiently and affordably initiate operations in emerging North American markets.
Flair’s Chief Commercial Officer Garth Lund said, “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.”
He added, “Working with GO7 enables us to identify new revenue streams as we broaden our route network and connect more travellers here at home and across the globe to the joy of travelling in Canada and beyond.”
According to Peer Winter, Chief Distribution Officer of GO7, the partnership adds solutions that “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.”
GDS systems bring certain benefits but also come with challenges and expenses. Moreover, employing the GDS demands staff with proficiency in both GDS and IATA, which mandates undergoing a certification procedure.
During the 2017 interview with Open Jaw, Flair’s Director of Passenger Sales and Marketing shared that while it is costly to sell through GDS systems, “the return is bigger” from accessing the agency distribution channel. “We don’t look at agencies as competitors; we see them as partners.”
Using its unique IATA code (W1), GO7 offers Flair the opportunity to list its flights in the GDS under the W1 designation, bypassing the prolonged setup periods and significant initial expenses associated with a direct GDS integration.