Local travel is more affordable and convenient when youth entrepreneurs invest in their early stages

AirStudent founders Ndabenhle Ntshangase left and Lwanda Shabalala right 1024x576 1

Because of the technology involved, distribution costs are often one of the largest expenses for airlines. AirStudent works directly with airlines to lower their costs and pass savings on to customers. This strategy has allowed the company to rapidly grow and net an undisclosed amount from the impact investor company, E Squared Investments by 2021.

AirStudent is a pioneer in the adoption of new technology and will be helping the industry recover from the effects of COVID-19. The company will be able to expand their operations and scale up the innovative technology that they have created for their customers and partners by securing substantial funding from E Squared Investments.

AirStudent has a close relationship with many of the industry’s top players, including Comair (operating British Airways & Kulula.com), South Africa’s new airline Lift, Europcar, and many other companies. They offer tailored travel packages and enhanced benefits and services that ensure customers have flexibility, convenience, affordable travel, and a great experience.

AirStudent was founded by Allan Gray Fellows Ndabenhle Ntshangase & Lwanda Schabalala in 2017. It organizes students who travel between home and university into groups that offer them special deals.

Ntshangase, Shabalala are both from Northern KwaZulu Natal. However, they studied at the University of Cape Town. Ntshangase was the only student at his school to go to UCT that year. He had to travel alone. “I grew up in a large family and understood the power of the group.

My siblings and I were able to get discounts at carnivals, as well as groceries from wholesalers in bulk. Ntshangase: “When I saw the traveling student body as one family, I realized that we could get a lot out of coordinating our travel.”

The entrepreneurs surveyed students to gauge interest in a company that would arrange bulk discounts travel. They received 963 expressions. These were used to contact Comair Ltd for a possible partnership. Comair was open to being apart.

Shabalala says, “I believe it’s testament to South Africa’s vibrant business culture that an established brand such as Kulula was eagerly willing to work with us even when we were at the concept stage.” AirStudent was born from the enthusiasm of all the students.

Innovative technology is behind cost savings

Many airlines and travel agents realized how difficult it was to pay exorbitant fees for international distribution companies after the global pandemic. This gave AirStudent and its partner a huge opportunity. AirStudent was innovative in their service offering, and licensed their technology to other travel agencies who might not be able otherwise.

After a successful pilot, AirStudent joined forces with Trans-end Technologies, Botlhale.ai, and Botlhale.ai in order to increase its innovative technology capacities and capacity. This will enhance a customer’s experience while traveling and improve the company’s management of travel.

The company claims that this technology will solve ongoing problems and improve the management of travel agents. It also gives customers more choice and benefits for a fraction of the price of traditional (GDS-based) bookings.

Supporting youth entrepreneurs and businesses to achieve sustainable growth

E Squared’s recent investment into Johannesburg-based startup AirStudent is a significant boost and backing that shows confidence in the huge opportunities that lie ahead of the growing company.

AirStudent will be able to further develop their solution and go to market with the funding from E Squared.

“We have worked closely with our technology partners, early adopters and other stakeholders to create some very interesting technology. Our goal is now to scale the technology and get it to the market. Shabalala, co-founder of AirStudent, says that they are confident in the product and are excited about the future.

Ndabenhle Ntshangase is the CEO and co-founder. He notes his excitement about the future of the travel industry thanks to the advent of new technology. “Our ideas have always revolved around creating something that benefits everyone, from our travel partners to customers to independent third-party partner.

Our growth highlights the importance funding partners like E Squared, which backs young South African entrepreneurs. We are confident that our systems and technologies will make a significant impact on society. We are also excited by the interest we have seen from corporates, independent travel companies, and higher education. We are looking to expand and grow as travel opens up.

Partner with AirStudent to tap into this technology

AirStudent’s website currently only allows you to search for domestic flight information. Third-party partners who want to use AirStudent technology will be able to access a wider range of content (airfare, accommodation, and hire cars). Trans-end Technologies is also welcome to join the company to adopt their technology and help them overcome the pandemic.

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