In our last blog articles, we have been establishing how Virtual Interlining (VI) has been helping travel companies fix a broken model around flight searches.
As travellers join more and more the digitalisation age and travel companies try to keep up with the personalisation needs demanded by the market, new technologies have been emerging to close the gap between travellers’ expectations and market offers.
Virtual Interlining is part of this new cycle. It combines the advantages of finding the best routes with the safety of booking complex multi-flight itineraries with travel professionals.
We’ve already explored how this complex optimisation can connect airlines without codeshare agreements and is helping consumers search for a whole new world of connections.
Today, we learn about some of the biggest players in the market already applying Virtual Interlining, and we show you some practical examples of how this technology can help save time and money.
Read on to find out more.
What companies are currently using Virtual Interlining technology?
Before jumping into the flight routes we found in our own searches, it is relevant to point out that this technology can be used with multiple providers.
VI is proven to be a game-changer for travel professionals. However, consumer independence grows as online platforms become the preferred method for planning and booking holidays. This means
that previously unavailable optimisations are getting increasingly available to the end-customer.
These are some biggest companies offering Virtual Interlining:
- Dohop: Dohop’s interline technology hopes to enable travellers to find and book low-cost flights from endless combinations. The self-connecting itineraries are generated thanks to Virtual Interlining technology and the company has been fostering an ecosystem of partnerships with some of the biggest low-cost players in the market.
- Amadeus: With the premise of travellers building their own connections at a much faster pace, Amadeus offers Virtual Interlining technology to Online Travel Agencies looking to boost their price margins and sales conversions.
- TripStack: Offering travel brands the possibility to sell the best fares available, TripStack built a highly customisable platform that helps travel professionals generate VI connected routes with the airlines and customer experience of their choosing.
- Kiwi: With Kiwi.com, it is possible to combine flights from more than 250 low-cost carriers thanks to its Virtual Interlining technology. Kiwi has recently added ground transportation to its optimisation capabilities, making it possible to add ground options to searches and reservations.
- Nezasa: Thanks to its product, TripOptimizer, Nezasa offers travel brands the possibility to build multi-stop itineraries with the aid of Virtual Interlining. The system finds the best combinations possible according to customers’ preferences and helps agents book the optimal flight.
Examples of Virtual Interlining Searches
We sat down with Javier Martínez, Nezasa’s Sales Development Representative, so he could show us around TripOptimizer and showcase the main differences in flight searches with and without Virtual Interlining.
“First thing to point out is that Virtual Interlining is guaranteed to find you different results, but you must be aware of your customers’ priorities. This means understanding if they want a cheaper route, if
they want to save time or even if they want to fly on a specific fixed date”, added Javier before the search.
Example 1: Cheaper Routes
We started by trying to find the cheaper route for a roundtrip from Santiago de Chile to Punta Cana and back.
This is the first search shown within TripOptimizer:
SCL – PUJ – SCL → With no virtual interlining this is the price: USD $909
The second option however meant a 21% saving, equivalent $193 per person, without the need to change the time of the flights. The search guaranteed the best price available by combining airlines that do not have a sharecode agreement and would not be available in the commonly-used search engines.
SCL – PUJ – SCL → With virtual interlining this is the price: USD $715,9
Example 2: Saving Time
“Most of the travel agents we started working with would usually consider price as their main priority. But the truth is that modern travellers are also interested in saving time, especially for longer trips that demand a lot of layovers. And because they are so comfortable with technology, they do not mind doing self transfers or handling their own baggage”.
Elias Musalem, Nezasa’s CSO and one of the minds behind TripOptimizer, clarifies that time plays a huge factor when coordinating multi-stop itineraries, and travellers seem to show interest in more than just saving money, they wish to get to their destinations faster.
Here’s what we got by testing a multi-city trip with the destinations Madrid – Bangkok – Bali – Tokio – Madrid. With the route based only on airlines with codeshare agreements, travellers would spend 71 hours in route. With Virtual Interlining, on the other hand, the duration of the trip would be only 47 hours.
This optimised combination of flights saves travellers more than a complete day in route by paying only $500 more.
How is TripOptimizer helping travel brands?
“TripOptimizer is the product we created after understanding our needs and problems as travellers. So we needed to discover a way to find the best flights and the technology that could give us just that.”, says Elias Musalem.
TripOptimizer does more than just creating optimal flight routes based on airlines that would not usually connect. It can help travel professionals find the best options considering their customers’ main preferences, including CO2 Emissions or number of destinations.
Its personalisation capabilities go way beyond the flights itself, since travel agents can customise their own experience to the core by selecting the airlines they wish to work with and the fees applied to each customer.
“TripOptimizer is not the only tool capable of providing optimised flight routes thanks to Virtual Interlining, this we know. But is the only one built considering the travel agents’ experience and their main needs while serving their customers”. – Javier Martínez
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