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The flying kangaroo goes electronic

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 10th August 2000

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Qantas has flung itself firmly into cyberspace by detailing its plans to become one of Australia's leading e-commerce companies.

The airline says it will use the strength of the Qantas brand, as well as its extensive on-line experience and customer relationships, to drive the e-commerce strategy.

Strategic plans include forming a separate company called Qantas Ventures to look for and develop internet opportunities, working with other companies inside and outside the airline industry to lower purchasing costs, and introducing a travel management system for its corporate customers.

It will also offer a special site for travel agents, and develop information-based services through WAP(Wireless Application Protocol) and SMS (Short Message Service) technology, to deliver flight and other information to customers.

The airline says other new services - including a range of tailored financial services and a broader retail offering all featuring the key benefit of earning Frequent Flyer points - will be announced over the coming months.

Increased revenue as well as significant cost savings are expected from the e-commerce initiative.

Qantas CEO, James Strong, says within three years, between 10 and 15 percent of its consumer airfare sales would be through the internet, offering cost savings of up to A$34 million a year.

The strategy ties in with the announcement that the airline has a new alliance with Telstra, where both companies' customers will be offered co-branded products at special rates.

Mr Strong says the Telstra alliance, plus other e-commerce possibilities, offer huge revenue potential.

"For the whole group of product and service providers involved in this first set of business to consumer and business to business initiatives, we believe that there will be rapid growth in revenues which could amount to a total in the region of A$1 billion for all of the parties involved over the next three years."

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