How to create a cost-effective corporate air programme


With the market constantly evolving it can be a challenge to keep track of the best air travel options for your company.


Follow our advice to ensure your air programme is as effective as possible at meeting the needs of your business.


Airline agreement v spot buying


The first question when considering the management of your company’s airline programme is whether you need an airline agreement at all? Or if spot-buying can deliver the best results.


With spot-buying, there are no soft dollar benefits such as lounge passes, additional mileage points or an on-going relationship for when things go awry.


Unstable market conditions can sometimes favour a negotiated deal, but the risk is much like negotiating a mortgage, as rates can fluctuate, making spot-buying preferable for some.


Get the most from your supplier relationships


Travel management companies (TMCs) can leverage their size on your behalf and negotiate the best rates at both a local and multinational level, so be sure to take advantage of this.


There’s also the option to engage an independent travel consultant, or simply DIY.


Get your head around the data


Consider whether you have the right spend on the right routes to warrant an airline agreement. An audit of current spend and travel patterns is essential; how consistently do you use the route and is your company able to mandate the use of preferred carriers?


Your TMC is best placed to help you understand this historical data. In addition they will conduct regular reviews once the deals are implemented.


Negotiate on proposals


Look at market share, conduct a cabin availability test, check alliance links and, above all, does it supports your travel policy?


Once agreed (following any necessary negotiation), ensure you have the tools to manage and maintain your airline programme properly. For example if using an online booking tool, confirm the system can support your policy and highlight the preferred deals. Once you have a deal, review it’s competitiveness and feel free to negotiate.

For more advice and help with managing your air programme, call +44 (0)20 3353 0340 or email.