Flybe is hoping for an uplift in direct business travel bookings by fully adopting the widely used Universal Airline Travel Plan (UATP).
This enables the regional carrier to accept corporate bookings for flights and ancillary purchases via its website, mobile app and its contact centre.
UATP accounts are also available for use with online booking tools distributing flybe.com fares.
The airline’s corporate customers have used UATP for some time but the booking method has only previously been available for bookings made via travel agents through global GDS channels.
UATP is an airline-owned payment network that facilitates transactions through a corporate payment card that is accepted by thousands of merchants for air, rail and travel agency payments.
Cards are not owned by individuals but shared by those working for the same company to make business travel arrangements. UATP is issued and accepted globally by the world’s airlines.
Flybe chief commercial officer Roy Kinnear said: “Flybe is focused on fully meeting the needs of our clients so I am really pleased that we can now accept UATP bookings made through our website.
“There is an undisputed demand for online UATP acceptance given the superior data management capabilities and, as such, the cards are widely used across the airline industry for corporate bookings.
“They are particularly prevalent in the German market – issued by AirPlus International – and many companies will only book with carriers who accept them.
“As a result, Flybe should see an increase in business travel bookings from introducing this facility through our primary booking channel.”
UATP chief executive Ralph Kaiser added: ”UATP is continuously working with its network members to improve acceptance channels and meet customer demand. Flybe should see increased sales and we look forward to seeing the results.”