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Qantas takes majority stake in online booking platform TripADeal

Qantas now owns a controlling interest in online travel booking platform TripADeal which will open the way for Frequent Flyer program members to use points for travel packages. 

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the acquisition allows Qantas to gain a bigger slice of the $13 billion online packaged holiday booking market which is booming as the country emerges from the pandemic. 

“There is a huge shift to booking online,” he said. “That’s exactly what TripADeal does. It’s an Aussie success story built on delivering ready-made holidays at very sharp prices, and their level of repeat customers shows how well they do it.”

Byron Bay-based TripADeal was founded by Norm Black and Richard Johnston in 2011 to specialise in packaged holiday travel with set itineraries including flights, hotel accommodation and tours. The company has 100 staff in Byron Bay and on the Gold Coast and dedicated personnel in more than 30 countries to manage the experience on the ground.

Its packages range from African safaris, Japanese ski trips and exploring Antarctica, to Bali beach holidays and South Australian wine tasting tours.

Qantas says TripADeal will continue to work with a variety of airlines, including Qantas and Jetstar, and will complement the airline’s existing online travel businesses which focus on flights and hotel packages.

Before Covid, TripADeal was achieving annual growth of more than 40 per cent and during the year prior to the pandemic, sold bookings worth more than $200 million. 

Qantas will hold 51 per cent of the shares in the agency. The company’s founders, along with private equity firm BGH Capital, which bought a stake in 2020, will continue to own the balance. Qantas has an option to acquire the remaining 49 per cent.

Norm Black said as an Aussie business TripADeal is proud to now be in a close partnership with the national carrier. 

“Qantas understands why TripADeal is different and what makes it a success, which is why we chose to do this deal with them.”

Co-Founder Richard Johnston added: “This business is about making it easier for people to take amazing holidays essentially at the click of a button. It’s taken a decade for us to build the relationships direct with suppliers to be able to offer all the experiences we have, and the ability to now use Qantas Points for that is really going to drive our growth in the years ahead.”

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