Travel buffs rejoice – Philippine Airlines (PAL) has just signed a deal with SMART Communications to create a mobile app that should allow their customers to book flights right from their mobile phones.
PAL’s agreement with SMART means that the app will be developed to run with their “MePay” payment system, allowing users to book and pay for flights using credit cards, debit cards, or SMART Money. Users can also opt to pay for the flights they’ve booked via ATMs and over-the-counter payments at PAL offices. SMART President Napoleon Nazareno says that the choice to bring PAL bookings to the mobile front couldn’t have come at a better time, as smartphones are quickly becoming a necessity in the country, saying “With smartphone adoption increasing around the country, it is but natural for PAL to extend their perks and services for flyers to their mobile phones.”
Global smartphone penetration rates are at an all-time high. Gaming Realms, operators of Castle Jackpot, reported that there were 1 billion smartphone users in the world in the end of 2012, and new statistics say that by the end of 2014, there will be nearly 1.75 billion smartphone users. In the Philippines, with access to cheap smartphones and locally-made phones, the smartphone penetration rate is set to increase from 15% earlier this year to 50% by 2015. It’s as good a time as any to begin development on an app that should boost business for PAL. Many travel buffs sign up for newsletters in search of deals and promotions, and with many of them now checking emails on their phones, the ability to see promotions right from a dedicated app will surely be welcome.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Phone by kevandotorg
“The new app is one of PAL’s innovations in line with its commitment to keep in step with advancements in technology for the benefit of passengers,” remarked Jaime Bautista, PAL’s President, as he reaffirmed their commitment to staying on top of trends and giving their customers the most convenient experience in the market. PAL is the first airline to begin development of a mobile app in the country, giving them a head start on other airlines. The app is expected to go live in early 2015 for both iOS and Android devices.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): iPhone by jeanbaptistem