Strategies for Maximising Value and Overcoming Rising Airfare Costs in Business Travel
In today's business landscape, corporate travel plays a pivotal role in the success of organisations across the globe.
Managing expenses related to airfare and accommodation is a constant challenge, given the volatile nature of prices and ever-changing supplier agreements. To shed light on how ATPI, a global leader in corporate travel management, excels in reducing costs and optimising travel arrangements for its clients, we had the privilege of sitting down with Muhammad Rafiq, Operations Director (Asia). In this Q&A, Rafiq reveals the key strategies and expert insights that set ATPI apart in the realm of corporate travel.
1. How does ATPI reduce airline ticket costs for our clients?
One of the most critical aspects of corporate travel management is minimising airline ticket costs. ATPI achieves this by employing a multifaceted strategy. Rafiq explains, "To extract the maximum value, our key strategy lies in forming solid agreements with suppliers. Occasionally, our clients may already possess a corporate arrangement with their preferred airline, and we act as their representatives." For clients without an existing airline agreement, ATPI has established direct agreements with airlines. Their goal is clear: reduce costs for clients in ticket sales and hotel bookings. This is achieved through diligent tracking of sales opportunities, monitoring bookings up to 40 hours before travel, and striving to secure lower prices on flights and accommodations. Some clients even engage ATPI exclusively for this purpose, necessitating dedicated resources.
2. How does ATPI track and optimise hotel and air expenses, especially considering the challenges of fluctuating prices?
Dealing with fluctuating hotel and air expenses can be a formidable challenge. ATPI, however, has a systematic approach to tackle this issue. Rafiq emphasises, "We utilise specialised tools and technologies to track and optimise costs. Bookings that don't align with the lowest available airfare trigger our unique cost optimisation technology." This technology serves as a checkpoint, prompting a thorough review of the booking to determine if further savings are possible. The process is meticulous, evaluating whether the current booking is truly the best option or if adjustments can be made to enhance cost-effectiveness. If necessary, the ATPI team intervenes, ensuring that every booking aligns with the most advantageous pricing. It's a dynamic process that ensures clients consistently benefit from the most cost-efficient options available.
3. In terms of supplier negotiations and overall travel management, how does ATPI leverage the expertise of a travel management consulting team?
The expertise of a travel management consulting team is a cornerstone of ATPI's success. Rafiq elucidates, "When it comes to supplier negotiations and overall travel management, ATPI places great emphasis on the expertise of our travel management consulting team." Notably, the consulting team addresses clients who may not have a clear understanding of their travel data and requirements. Over the course of nearly a year, this team conducts a comprehensive analysis to identify the specific needs of the client. This includes examining historical data and understanding travel patterns.
The consulting team works diligently to consolidate all relevant data and formulate tailored recommendations. These recommendations span a range of aspects, from optimising supplier relationships to suggesting potential cost-saving measures. After approximately 9 months to a year, these recommendations are successfully implemented across all client offices worldwide. The impact is significant; clients experience increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their travel arrangements. This translates into tangible benefits such as enhanced priority waitlist status, lounge access, lower fares, flexible ticketing deadlines, and VIP services.
By leveraging the insights and recommendations of the travel management consulting team, ATPI clients not only streamline their travel processes but also unlock additional perks and advantages with airlines. It's a testament to the long-term value that expert advice brings to the organisation and, ultimately, to the satisfaction of the clients.