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For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

Interview: Gili Lichtman, Fairfly

David Chapple, Business Travel Show event director, and Gili Lichtman, co-founder and VP of sales at Fairfly

Fairfly exhibited at the Business Travel Show Launchpad in 2017 and subsequently went on to win the Business Travel Show Disrupt Award. BBT caught up with Gili Lichtman, co-founder and VP of sales and marketing, to find out how the victory has helped the business as entries open for the 2018 event

Tell us a bit about Fairfly.
Fairfly maximises airfare savings by tracking flights globally across multiple GDSs, post-booking and up until departure. Companies using Fairfly can unlock savings of up to 4 per cent of their spend on identical flights alone, and double the amount on similar flights.

Fairfly’s proprietary algorithms drive automation at scale and search for identical, similar and even better flight options while factoring in applicable airline penalties, private fares and corporate travel policies. With Fairfly’s fully customisable search filters, corporate travel managers can tailor the search to accommodate the needs of specific groups of travellers, or even a specific traveller.

Why did you enter Launchpad at this year’s show? 
We entered Launchpad as part of our global strategy, and specifically in preparation for the launch of our Galileo GDS integration (which is live today). 

At what stage were you at in the business? 
At that time, Fairfly was servicing clients in various parts of the world and we were aiming to strengthen our relationships within the corporate travel industry in the UK.

How did being at the show help? 
Being at the Business Travel Show, and then winning the Disrupt Award, gave Fairfly great exposure and helped us establish many meaningful relationships with customers, as well as fruitful partnerships within the industry. 

Tell us about the process of entering, being shortlisted for and then winning the Disrupt Award. What did it mean to you to win? 
The Business Travel Show and Disrupt Award are widely recognised and respected by the travel industry, and being associated with this influential organisation has been very meaningful for Fairfly. 

How have things progressed – product and business wise – since March? 
Today, Fairfly works with some of the largest TMCs globally, as well as Fortune 500 companies. Our clients are leveraging Fairfly to maximise savings around the world, including parts of the world that were previously out of reach due to GDS limitations and market availability. 

What advice would you give to travel start-ups? Any business mistakes you made that they can benefit from? 
The most important piece of advice would be to listen to your customers, ask for feedback and always stay flexible to be able to adapt to changes in the industry. 

Would you encourage them to enter Launchpad and Disrupt? 
Absolutely!

What will it mean to you to come back to the show this year and be on the main show floor with the other big suppliers? 
It is very exciting for us, especially considering how much has happened since last year. This will be a big milestone for us. 

Fifteen business travel start-ups (companies under three years old) are chosen for Launchpad each year and given a free exhibition stand, exposing them to over 7,500 European industry professionals at the Business Travel Show, which takes place February 21-22, 2018 at Olympia London.

The entry deadline closes at midnight on December 8. The form can be downloaded from ow.ly/M9RO30gUE6z and needs to be returned to sundeep.manku@centaurmedia.com.

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