“Japan Airlines was looking for a technology partner who could quickly deploy a leading solution in top priority markets,” Switchfly CEO Craig Brennan.
With an estimated 600,000 travelers expected to descend on Tokyo for that city’s 2020 Summer Olympics (July 22-Aug. 9), Japan Airlines is gearing up to capture more than just flight revenues.
And while the Summer Olympics is the impetus for JAL’s broader travel retail plan, its hoping to use the global sports event to showcase its intention to provide a complete one-stop travel shopping experience for planning and booking all Japanese tourism. The Japan National Tourism Organization’s ambition is to grow inbound tourism to 40 million by the end of 2020, a significant increase from the 16 million international visitors to Japan so far this year.
To build that end-to-end tourism product pipeline, JAL is partnering with travel-focused e-commerce platform Switchfly, which is working with JAL Group subsidiary, JALPAK Co., Ltd., on a jointly run, a web-based Dynamic Package reservation system for customers in USA and Canada.
The project, which launched in October 2019, will power JAL’s vacation package bundling of flights, accommodations, transportation, and activities products.
“Japan Airlines was looking for a technology partner who could quickly deploy a leading solution in top priority markets,” Switchfly CEO Craig Brennan told Kambr Media. “Switchfly was selected because of our dynamic packaging capabilities, speed to market, and fulfillment capabilities. JAL was also impressed with our Fortune 500 client base that includes other oneworld partners American Airlines and British Airways.”
Switchfly’s Package offering is currently available in Australia, Singapore, and Thailand. In addition to Japan, the San Francisco-based tech company is also working on upcoming 8 additional markets by March 2020.
As for how Switchfly’s Package works in this case, travelers booking flights to Japan can seamlessly add a hotel reservation with accompanying ground transportation and offers on local tours and activities – all delivered directly through the airline’s own website.
“Switchfly's implementation of Dynamic Packaging for Japan Airlines is geared toward foreign independent travel (FIT), which makes sense because 89 percent of all arrivals to Japan are tourists, compared to just 5 percent business travelers,” Brennan said. “The exposure of Japan during the Olympics will future increase the demand for future packages from FITs.
As a further benefit for JAL, Switchfly Packaging has the capability to target specific customer segments, Brennan added.
“We work closely with our clients to set platform configurations and business rules that offer certain products to specific customer segments,” he said. “For example, vacation packages for travelers who purchase business class tickets could be customized to include accommodations at luxury hotels.”