In its first-ever acquisition, ATPCO snaps up Routehappy

ATPCO, the airline-owned company that collects and distributes fares and related data, acquired Routehappy, a six-year-old company that provides flight scores, cabin amenity data and other merchandising tools.

Terms of the deal, which is ATPCO’s first acquisition in its 53 years, were not disclosed.

Routehappy, (Startup pitch here) will be wholly owned by ATPCO but will operate separately, led by current chief executive officer Robert Albert.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves by ATPCO under Rolf Purzer, a long-time executive with the company who became CEO a year ago.

Purzer has been on a mission to modernize the company.

It began working with Routehappy in April to unite pricing data and merchandising content.

When NDC, IATA’s technical standard for airline retailing, was initially introduced, some pundits concluded that its dynamic pricing features would spell the end for ATPCO; instead, the company has taken a leadership role in the development of the concept, collaborating with SITA to build an NDC Exchange to lower the barriers to NDC adoption.

The Routehappy acquisition is “a match made in heaven,” Purzer says, a “happy coincidence between planning and good timing.”

“It was a gap we needed to fill. We want to enter into the retailing mindset with a good product. We want to be more modern and agile.”

Albert agrees. From Routehappy’s beginnings, he envisioned the creation of new technical standards that would benefit the whole industry.

“By uniting with ATPCO — the “standard setter” in the air fare ecosystem – “we can make it happen overnight.”

Routehappy also is starting to “explore” NDC – it recently was endorsed by IATA as a partner to the initiative — so the pairing of the companies could not come at a better time. Although Albert says rich content “isn’t really a part of it at this stage,” Purzer thinks it’s a natural evolution.

“NDC is really about retailing,” he says.

Through the collaboration that began last year, the companies already have integrated ATPCO’s Optional Services Industry Sub Codes into Routehappy’s content platform, Routehappy Hub.

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Michele McDonald

About the Writer :: Michele McDonald

Michele McDonald is a senior editor at tnooz. She has worked as a journalist covering the travel industry for more than two decades. She is a former managing editor of Travel Weekly (US) and former editor-in-chief of Travel Distribution Report. In 2002, she founded Travel Technology Update, a newsletter for distribution professionals. She remains editor and publisher of Travel Technology Update. She also contributes to Air Transport World.



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  1. Vela Mitchell

    Good article Michelle. Modernization at ATPCO is so necessary.


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