Flight Centre invests in tech as Covid-19 recovery begins

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Flight Centre invests in tech as Covid-19 recovery begins

Looks to robotics, AI and new digital platforms.

Flight Centre is focused heavily on technology advancements to build a strong recovery post Covid-19.

The company told analysts at its half-year results briefing that a strong focus on technology investment will enable it to launch new global platforms with personalised customer experience at the forefront.

The first half saw the company put $20.9 million into capital expenditure, almost solely on technology improvements aimed at bringing new products to market to make travel safer for customers and at improving productivity.

Flight Centre invested in its leisure platform Helio, small business digital platform Melon and online booking engine SOAR, all of which are now beginning to roll out across the company's various divisions.

Helio will replace six global legacy systems and allows travel consultants better administration capabilities of customer bookings, while SOAR will be updated with better features.

Flight Centre’s newest brand, Corporate Traveller, will use Melon as its digital platform of choice, with robotics and AI used to provide small business travellers a more seamless experience.

Corporate travel chief executive officer Chris Galanty saw the opportunity for “increased productivity gains through the deployment of robotics and artificial intelligence technology platform.”

Stating the “intelligence layer is where the magic happens” Galanty said robotics, data science, artificial intelligence, and pricing analytics technologies are where the company is making its “big change”.

“It means for the first time we're moving from just having transactional and financial data to behavioural data, which enhances our ability to give a better experiences, better savings and better commercial returns," he said.

“It is the first time we're using this level of analytics and data. We expect this to be a game changer for our business.”

Flight Centre is also looking to drive e-commerce growth by updating its online properties.

Understanding travel will be different post-pandemic, Flight Centre’s corporate brands have begun investing in health passports for easier travel.

Its FCM Travel Solutions brand - in partnership with Singapore company Temasek - has begun rolling out a health passport app, which will provide travellers with Covid-19 testing information as well as upload results via QR codes.

FCM Travel Solutions own 'Sam :]' app has also been updated to record various documents such as a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination.

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