On March 22, easyJet, Europe’s leading low-cost airline, announced an innovative deal with the UK’s leading travel management company, Business Travel International (BTI). This is the first agreement of its kind and means that the airline will be given access to BTI’s booking inventory and certain back-office systems, resulting in an increase of easyJet’s penetration into the corporate travel market.
From later this year, BTI’s corporate customers will, for the first time, be able to view and buy easyJet’s inventory through their own systems, alongside the inventory of other airlines. This will be facilitated through an Application Programming Interface (API) and, in addition to seat purchasing, will automatically fulfil various administrative functions such as billing, providing management information and notification in the event of flight disruptions. In time, it is hoped that similar deals will be struck with other travel management companies.
This is the latest in a long line of innovations that have made easyJet an ideal choice for business travel. In February 2003, the airline launched easyJet.com/b2b, a simplified version of its internet site for use by corporations, was the first European airline to allow customers to view and change their booking details online and, in September, introduced the world’s most generous hand baggage policy, removing all weight restrictions.