Qantas acquires majority stake in online booking site TripADeal

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“With most COVID-related travel restrictions removed, we’re seeing massive growth in bookings, massive growth in planning, and massive growth in travel.”

TripADeal founders Norm Black (far left) and Richard Johnston (middle) with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce (second left), Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth (second right) and Ben Gray , BGH Capital (far right).Credit:Qantas/Brent Winstone

Frequent flyers will earn three points for every dollar spent with TripADeal, or can pay for part of their vacation with points and part with cash.

Joyce said the deal, for an undisclosed amount, will give its loyal members access to domestic and international vacation packages at a better price.

“The number one thing frequent flyers want to use their points for is travel,” he said.

The acquisition is the biggest Qantas Loyalty has ever made, and “an important one because it is going to make a big difference to the business going forward”, added Joyce.

TripADeal co-founders Richard Johnston (left) and Norm Black in Byron Bay.

TripADeal co-founders Richard Johnston (left) and Norm Black in Byron Bay.
Credit:mark the way

TripADeal was founded in Byron Bay in 2011 by Norm Black and Richard Johnston and currently employs around 100 people. The founders sold a majority stake to private equity firm BGH Capital in 2020.

Addressing the Herald and ageBlack said the size of the deal was “up there”.

“The numbers are very important,” he said.

The online holiday booking platform is on track for its biggest month in its 11-year history, he added.

“We’re looking to top $21m in revenue this month – ahead of the Qantas deal.”

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth, who made the announcement alongside Joyce, said travel bookings were returning to pre-COVID levels.

“We are seeing a boom in the travel industry,” Wirth said. “We expect there to be significant growth.”

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said travel bookings were returning to pre-COVID levels.

Qantas Loyalty chief executive Olivia Wirth said travel bookings were returning to pre-COVID levels. Credit:Bloomberg

Qantas aims to triple TripADeal’s revenue over the next few years through the partnership, Joyce said.

The deal also includes options for Qantas to buy the remaining 49% of TripADeal that it does not own in four years.

The acquisition is expected to deliver growth in addition to the previously targeted $500 million to $600 million in underlying earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by fiscal year 2024.

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