GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus – May 2012

Product news, releases, projects and more from the global distribution systems during May 2012 – all here, in one easy read.

More recent updates first:

Thursday 31 May 2012:

  • Sabre Holdings becomes first travel technology business to sign a Code of Conduct against child exploitation. As a member of the organisation, driven by the Swiss government and the private sector, and supported by Ending Child Prostitution and Trafficking, Sabre will develop ways of highlighting the aims of the Code, including training for staff as well as raising awareness through its various B2B and B2C products.
  • Travelport appoints country manager for Ireland. Reporting to regional director for UK & Ireland, Simon Ferguson, former key account manager Sinead Reilly will be responsible for leading the local team in Ireland and spearhead use of its CruiseNet and SmartpointApp services. Reilly replaces outgoing country manager Dave Walsh.
  • Travelport creates new regional hub office in Dubai. The facility in Media City will act as the corporate headquarters for Travelport for the Middle East and Africa, under the stewardship of president and MD for the region, Rabih Saab. Travelport was previously located in offices in Al Barsha and Dubai Silicon Oasis.
  • What is driving the online impulse hotel buyer? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • How artificial intelligence could create a personalised and perfect travel service

Wednesday 30 May 2012:

  • SabreAmerican Airlines case delayed. The courtroom and commercial showdown between American Airlines and Sabre have been delayed for a few more months now that the start of the state antitrust trial in Texas, which was initiated by the airline, has been extended until October 3. The previous schedule had the trial starting August 6. The two parties’ GDS agreement remains in place until 14 days after the trial concludes, states American Airlines, adding that it “looks forward to pursing our legal rights and seeking compensation for the harm done to our company as a result of Sabre’s [alleged] antitrust law violations”. And, Chris Kroeger, Sabre’s senior vice president of marketing, sent a update to travel agency and corporate customers stating that litigation is a “wasteful process,” but Sabre will “mount a vigorous defense”.
  • GermanWings agrees new long term distribution agreement with Sabre Travel Network. The deal sees Sabre-connected agents given access to fares, schedules and availability on the carrier. Sabre says tickets sold via the GDS will come with one piece of luggage and one free snack on-board.
  • Amadeus One given a boost with Atlas Travel deal. The partnership sees the travel management company use the full suite of the One platform and will begin in the fourth quarter of 2012. Atlas currently works with more than 500 corporations around the world and also has around 15,000 leisure travellers using its services.
  • Singapore-based new low cost carrier Scoot signs distribution package with Abacus. The multi-year deal, the first for a GDS and the fledgeling airline, sees all Abacus-connected agents across Asia-Pacific gain full access to Scoot’s fares and inventory from July 2012. Scoot’s maiden flight runs from Singapore to Sydney on June 4 this year, with other Australian destinations opening up shortly after.
  • Sabre Travel Network agrees distribution deal with Russian carrier VIM Avia. The full-content agreement allows Sabre-connected agents to search and book all seats and fare classes on the Moscow-based carrier. The airline was launched in 2000 and flies to Russian domestic destinations as well as Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
  • How to pre-open a hotel [Part Two of Two – distribution, revenue management, sales]
  • Amadeus Olympics data reveals visitor surge from the BRIC countries
  • The good, the bad and the ugly – the truth about payments for tourism businesses
  • Social seating with a twist as Satisfly puts airlines in control, seeks patents

Tuesday 29 May 2012:

Monday 28 May 2012:

Friday 25 May 2012:

Thursday 24 May 2012:

Wednesday 23 May 2012:

  • Travelport gets ratings upgrade from Standard and Poor’s. The credit agency says it has altered its position from B to B+ on the “first-lien senior secured debt facility” taken by Travelport LLC, a subsidiary of Travelport Holdings. Recent moves by Travelport on refinancing “has a positive impact on recovery prospects for these facilities”, S&P says. S&P and Moody’s both downgraded Travelport credit rating last summer at the height of worries over its financial affairs ahead a restructuring of its loans.
  • Seamless passage coming to Toulouse Airport via NFC trial

Tuesday 22 May 2012:

  • Travelodge inks partnership with Sabre Travel Network. Agents will be able to search and book more than 475 Travelodge hotels in the UK and Ireland as party of the deal. The addition of the Travelodge properties brings the total number of hotels on the Sabre system to more than 100,000 in in 200 countries, including 300 chains.
  • Lao Central Airlines strikes distribution package with Amadeus. Fares, both domestic and international, plus schedules and inventory from the recently launched airline will be available to Amadeus-connected agents around the world. Amadeus is also working with LCA to develop its e-ticking technology.
  • Sabre and EasyJet expand distribution agreement. The deal sees agents connected to the Sabre given access to fares through the  GDS, alongside plans to give business travellers via travel management companies the ability to select seats on selected routes on the carrier’s network.
  • Collaboration, state help and determination: enough to push travel technology ahead in Africa?

Monday 21 May 2012:

Wednesday 17 May 2012:

Tuesday 15 May 2012:

Friday 11 May 2012:

Monday 7 May 2012:

Friday 4 May 2012:

Thursday 3 May 2012:

Tuesday 1 May 2012:

  • The Travelport Developer Network is now open for users in the Middle East. Originally launched in November 2011, independent software developers are invited to join as part of a wider initiative to create new platforms, applications and services for travel agencies in the region.
  • Sabre Travel Network is looking for entries to its first developer competition on the Sabre Red workspace. The best ten entries from startups, individual developers and established companies will be able to showcase their idea at the Sabre Red Appy show in Las Vegas in early-June. Each will vie for a cash price.
  • Dnata will be the first agency in the Middle East to join the Travelport Universal API programme. The company will be able to aggregate content and other travel services from multiple providers through a single connection and interface.
  • Irish agents now have the opportunity to book cruise trips via a new service from Travelport called Cruise Net. The tool, developed in conjunction with Scotland-based TravelTek, allows agents to search and book trips, find port and ship information including images, as well as access real-time negotiated rates from cruise operators.
  • Google repositions Hotel Finder atop organic search results
  • Shocking news: A la carte travel shopping is good for consumers
  • The future of in-flight entertainment
  • OpenJaw launches first customer on t-Retail platform

Previous GDS updates:

NB: Globe technology image via Shutterstock.

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