Volantio, a startup that helps airlines rebook flexible passengers on emptier flights, said on Monday it had signed investment and commercial deals with Amadeus, the travel technology giant.
Amadeus’ startup investment program, Amadeus Ventures, will take a stake in the Atlanta-based startup.
The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal. Volantio last year closed a $2.6 million series B funding round. Investors included International Airlines Group (IAG), JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), and Qantas Ventures.
Amadeus will introduce Volantio to its customers and provide a faster technical path for them to integrate with its services than might otherwise be available.
Volantio already helps Alaska Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, and four other carriers minimize unsold seats.
Volantio helps airlines pinpoint flexible passengers on full flights using machine learning and historical data. It then prompts these travelers to volunteer to move to a less crowded flight in exchange for a perk, such as frequent flyer miles or a travel voucher.
Case in point: On June 1, the Champions League soccer, or football, final took place in Madrid.
“This was not something that an airline revenue management system could have predicted ahead of time, and the demand for flights from London to Madrid spiked as soon as the teams made it to the finals,” said Volantio CEO Azim Barodawala. “Most airlines would not have had any way to react to try and service the increased demand.”
Iberia used Volantio’s platform to send offers to customers on the most popular flights around the big game. It texted to ticketed passengers the chance to receive vouchers as a reward for moving to other, less crowded flights.
By switching flights, passengers stepped forward as being less interested in the championship and freed up seats for the fans.
Several fans were thus able to fly to Madrid who probably wouldn’t have otherwise, said an airline spokesperson.
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