Fact sheet for ST on Vital's Travel Management:
100 agencies (or 93% of public agencies) comprising of Government Ministries, Departments, Statutory Boards, Organs of State and others are on Vital’s centrally managed travel program. Examples: MOE, MOF, MOT, CAAS, EDB, LTA and NUS. Under this program, not only is air travel of civil servants included under an umbrella of corporate rates, but also travel of academics and tertiary students on school trips.
Public officers travel for different purposes including official trips, overseas missions and training, international relief efforts, postings, scholarship programmes, sports and competitions’ representations, and student exchanges.
In order to achieve greater value for money, Vital source for competitive rates from airlines to support our client agencies in lowering their travel costs.
Through Vital, the government has been able to secure corporate rates, typically 15% to 35% off market rates for frequently travelled routes with different full service airlines. The number of airline corporate fare agreements established by Vital had increased from 12 in 2008 to 20 airline agreements in 2012.
Beyond negotiations on corporate fares, Vital collects data from trips made through its managed travel program to find opportunities for further airspend savings. For example, from our booking patterns, if booking is done 22 days and more in advance of departure, ticket price can be lower by up to 19% when compared to booking in advance of 7 days or less from departure date. Information such as this helps our agencies further reduce their airspend.
Low Cost Carriers
The growth of low cost carriers (LCC) in the Asia-Pacific region and LCC’s increasing credibility among Asia Pacific travellers will bring an increased momentum in using LCCs.
With attractive fares from LCCs, we have seen a corresponding steady increase in travel on the low cost carriers under our travel program. Compared to FY2009, the number of tickets on low cost carriers has doubled on year and grown by 64% with 1,200 tickets cut in FY2011. Travelling on low cost carriers is an additional option for our travellers for short-haul official trips and student travel from tertiary educational institutes.
Low cost carriers can help increase their take up rate and become even more attractive to managed travel programs. We are having conversations with LCCs to understand if they see value participating in one of several mainstream global reservation systems which would allow their flights to be searched & compared alongside commercial airlines fares on a single platform. Doing so allows their fare options to be more easily presented to travellers by travel agents or travel arrangers. Booking data can then be consolidated for analysis by travel analysts. In the event of crisis, such booking data can also be invaluable for passenger tracking.
Safety of travellers when there is a travel disruption is one of most important considerations in the government managed travel program. Whether it is an engine problem, riots in the destination city, natural disasters, airport closures or airline strikes, Vital 24/7 crisis management framework would be activated to track affected government travellers. The government’s appointed travel agent, Pacific Arena, would assist to provide alternative travel arrangements where necessary.
In calendar year 2011, we recorded a total of 42 travel disruptions in which 181 travellers were supported. Crisis management support becomes even more critical in light of the increasing number of travel disruptions. We recorded an 83% increase in travel disruptions in 2011 as compared to 2010. In 2010, there were about 7 weather related disruptions (out of 23) compared to 24 (out of 42) in 2011.