Flight Centre, the world’s largest travel agency and ASX-listed company, purchased 25% of The Upside Travel Company. The company did not disclose how much they paid, but Flight Centre is now the largest single shareholder of Upside.
Flight Centre anticipates that Upside’s unique tech platform will add value to its Corporate Traveler brand. They look forward to using Upside to target customers in North, Central and South America immediately, and move on to customers in the UK at a somewhat later date.
“Upside … has the potential to disrupt traditional offerings in the [small and medium-sized enterprise] sector in the future,” said Graham Turner, Flight Centre managing director.
Dean Smith, Flight Center’s president, said the company would gain an edge over its competitors from Upside’s “cutting edge artificial intelligence” technology.
“Its use of machine-learning models to dynamically price business travel packages in real-time to save clients’ money while increasing traveler options is just one example of Upside’s best in class technology,” he said.
Flight Centre’s stock gained two percent after the announcement, trading at $44.07 in the afternoon.