NEW Zealand’s First Travel Group (FTG) is set to roll out the new Aeronology Travel Applications platform in early 2021, after gaining exclusive rights to the system under an Oct 2020 agreement by FTG’s Australian majority shareholder, Express Travel Group.
Aeronology will be accessible solely to First Travel Group members in NZ, comprising almost 60 independently owned professional travel businesses.
The new Aeronology Mobile application (TD 18 Nov) offers significant productivity gains for consultants, a key factor in helping the industry recover from COVID-19 which has seen thousands of travel agents across Australasia made redundant.
Efficiencies will also flow from Aeronology interfaces with accounting systems such as Xero, QuickBooks and MYOB, according to the firm’s CEO Russell Carstensen, as well as plugging into Sabre, ATPCO, Travelport, TravelSky and eventually Amadeus.
The single screen pulls together “potentially all travel supplier systems,” with estimates that it will enable agents to manage about three times the volume compared to legacy platforms.
“Aeronology can be operated remotely meaning that a NZ travel agent can operate out of Fiji…you can issue tickets out of other markets, if contracts allow,” Carstensen added.
First Travel Group CEO Malcolm MacLeod said the technology should “help balance the consequences of reduced staff,” with initial testing allowing fare search, bookings, the addition of seating and luggage and then issuing of tickets and EMDs all in a single transaction.
The addition of rail, insurance and other APIs is still a work in progress, but “this is extremely slick technology and even I got excited,” MacLeod said.
“I’ve been in the travel business for 35 years and I’ve never seen any tech closing the gap like this.
“It’s an exceptional development at a time when things are difficult for travel agents in Australia and New Zealand,” MacLeod added.