Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has acquired travel assistance chatbot Sam and increased its investment in 30SecondsToFly, which has an artificial intelligence-powered booking assistant known as Claire.
The two additions enhance the initiative’s portfolio in areas such as mobile and artificial intelligence (AI) and increase the Lab programme’s footprint at its technology development hubs in Barcelona and Bangkok.
Flight Centre Travel Group is now the sole owner and licensor of Sam, which is already used by many of the company’s corporate brands including FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveler, Campus Travel and Stage and Screen Travel.
FCTG secured an initial 25% stake in Sam in 2017 when it acquired a holding in FCM’s Paris-based partner 3Mundi.
Sam, an iOS and Android app, provides itinerary management, push notifications before and during trips and live chat between consultants and customers.
Flight Centre also has increased its stake in 30SecondsToFly to about 10%, and it will be the exclusive large global travel management company to use Claire for two years.
Claire is an air and hotel booking engine driven by AI-powered chat and trip curation.
The company plans to fully integrate Claire into Sam.
Flight Centre Travel Group has more than 30 brands, with company-owned operations in 23 countries and a corporate travel management network spanning more than 90 countries.
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