The Wrap: Increase in flight bookings to Australia, expansion of Hopper-Sabre technology partnership, launch of airasia Super App in Bangkok


THE Wrap is a roundup of travel and tech industry news – new partnerships, product launches, aviation industry updates, innovative solutions, and more.

The rush to Down Under is on as Australia reopens its borders to international travelers

Travelers are flocking to Australia as its borders reopen (Image credit: SOCIAL CUT on Unsplash)

When Australia announced it would reopen its borders from February 21 to vaccinated international tourists and business travelers with few restrictions, there was a surge in flight bookings to Down Under.

The rush to revisit or reunite families separated by the pandemic is not unexpected given that Australia shut down for two years, from March 2020, in an attempt to reduce the local spread of Covid. The country had some of the strictest and oldest pandemic travel restrictions in the world.

Global tech company Travelport has released data highlighting how Australians and the rest of the world are celebrating the reopening of borders. On the day of the announcement, international flight bookings to Australia were up 93% compared to the same day the previous week, with 75% of international inbound bookings for leisure travel.

Solo travelers are the largest segment of travellers, accounting for 35% of all flight bookings to Australia. According to Travelport, this segment could be largely made up of Australian expats keen to return home as the mandatory two-week hotel quarantine is removed.

February is the most popular month to travel to Australia, accounting for 45% of all bookings, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane being the top three destinations for international travellers.

The main countries traveling to Australia are:
• UK
• India
• Nepal
• WE
• New Zealand
• Singapore
• Sri Lanka
• Germany
• Philippines
• Canada

As international tourists flock to Australia, Australians are in turn excited to start traveling overseas. The top 10 international destinations that Australian travelers want to visit are:
• India
• UK
• WE
• Fiji Islands
• Sri Lanka
• Philippines
• Canada
• Nepal
• New Zealand
• Pakistan.

According to the data, travelers are also looking to stay longer. The average length of an international trip from Australia increased to 32 days in 2022, 10 days longer than the average of 22 days in 2019.

Hopper expands technology partnership with Saber

Hopper and Saber will continue to work closely together to evolve the online travel market.

Canada-based online travel agency Hopper has expanded its technology partnership with Saber Corporation.

The two companies, partners since 2012, have pledged to “further elevate their partnership” over the next three years, with Saber serving as Hopper’s primary global GDS and technology partner.

Both parties have already defined a common roadmap and will continue to work closely together to evolve the online travel market and customer experience, Saber said in a statement announcing the expansion of the partnership.

“Saber believed in our vision when Hopper was in its infancy and has continued to support us as a strategic retail and distribution partner since our inception,” said Fred Lalonde, CEO and co-founder of Hopper.

“Sabre’s global distribution network along with its advanced shopping APIs and ability to find the lowest fare formed the foundation we built on – adding our own proprietary AI-powered solutions. Together, our innovations have made Hopper the brand that stands out today,” he added.

The most downloaded travel app in the US in 2021, Hopper uses a wide range of Saber’s technology, including low-cost shopping APIs, post-booking automation and shopping data to deliver on their commitment to finding the lowest rates for customers and helping them save money.

Saber and Hopper are also exploring opportunities to continue to co-innovate on the future of travel technology through Hopper Cloud, a new partner program for airlines, online travel agencies, meta-search companies and business travel related organizations.

* Watch Hopper CEO and Co-Founder Fred Lalonde’s interview at WiT Experience Singapore 2021 here.

airasia Super App expands its offers and services across Thailand

The airasia team with Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes (4th left) at the official launch of the airasia SuperApp in Bangkok (Image credit: airasia)

Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group) officially launched its travel and lifestyle platform – airasia Super App – in Bangkok on February 21.

According to Capital A, the Thai super app aims to introduce up to two new services every year in the lifestyle, e-commerce and fintech categories. It also aims to add more domestic carriers and hotels as partners, expand airasia food to around Bangkok and the whole country by 2022, and expand door-to-door deliveries to airasia xpress within and between provinces.

“Thai consumer behavior is changing and our strategy to present ourselves as a super app comes at a good time with a market condition that has strong growth potential for the travel and lifestyle segments,” said Varut Vutipongsatorn, country manager of airasia Super App (Thailand).

He envisions the super app as part of everyone’s daily life, be it for travel services or lifestyle offerings.

Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App, added that there is great potential for growth in Thailand. “We are also increasing our delivery capabilities, leveraging our acquisition of established names such as Gojek Thai, strengthening our business know-how and speed to market with services such as food delivery, retail retail and e-commerce to same-day parcels. delivery and hail ride.

The super app, which has more than 16 categories of services, currently has 51 million users and aims to double the number by 2026. It is also a one-stop platform for travel services such as flights from more than 700 airlines worldwide, a large inventory of hotels, in addition to offers such as SNAP, its flight + hotel platform.

• Feature image credit – Sunset camel ride on Cabel Beach in Broome, Western Australia: JensenChua/Getty Images

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