© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A ground worker walking near a Qantas plane is seen from the international terminal at Sydney Airport, as countries react to the new coronavirus Omicron variant amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Sydney, Australia, November 2

(Reuters) – Australia’s Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it would buy a 51% stake in online travel agency TripADeal for an undisclosed amount, as it seeks to tap a recovery in demand for packaged holidays.

Easing COVID-19 restrictions and a rebound in leisure travel have triggered a boom in the online holiday booking market over recent months.

The deal includes a provision for Qantas to take full control of TripADeal in four years and is expected to add to the national flag carrier’s earnings goals for full-year 2024.

It would allow frequent flyers under the airline’s loyalty division to use their points for any TripADeal holiday package, the Sydney-based company .

Qantas Loyalty was targeting a return to double-digit growth in 2022 and an underlying earnings before income tax of A$500 million ($354.85 million) to A$600 million by fiscal 2024, it added.

Earlier this month, Qantas announced its decision to buy the remaining stake in Alliance Aviation Services for A$610.8 million to expand its presence in the charter business.

($1 = 1.4090 Australian dollars)

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