Flight Network, the second most-visited online travel agency in Canada behind Expedia.ca, introduced Blackberry and iPhone apps which enable travelers to search and book Canadian and international carriers from within the native apps.
Developed with Toronto-based software company Osellus, the free Flight Network Mobile enables travelers to select an outbound route from one carrier and a return trip from another, in addition to routine round-trips from a single airline, and also gives users the option to connect to a Flight Network call center for booking.
The apps handle Canadian carriers Air Canada and WestJet as well as the gamut of U.S. and international airlines.
The apps are compatible with iOS 3.1.2 or higher for the iPhone and iPod touch and for Blackberrys non-touch v4.5 software or higher is required.
With the predominance of tour operators in Canada, online adoption in travel has lagged the U.S.
Similarly, the mobile space in travel has yet to kick into high gear compared with Canada's southernly neighbor.
"Mobile penetration in Canada has generally been behind the U.S. and Europe," says Gail Rivett, chief marketing officer of Ontario-based Flight Network. "This is attributed to the higher voice and data rates, on average, than in the U.S. market."
But the entry of lower-cost cellular providers, including Wind, Public Mobile and Mobilicity, for example, should boost penetration levels, Rivett adds.
Flight Network CEO Naman Budheo claims that Flight Network Mobile is "the first and only Canadian mobile flight-booking application that empowers consumers to search flights from multiple airlines and then complete their transaction without the inconvenience of leaving the application or fumbling to call in payment information."