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Travelport boosts Asia Pacific LCC offering with signing of Air Asia


Issues & Trends – March 2014

Travelport boosts Asia Pacific LCC offering with signing of Air Asia

TRAVELPORT’S drive to deliver low cost carrier (LCC) content to its agents has taken on a new dimension in Asia-Pacific with this month’s announcement that AirAsia will now distribute all its fares and ancillary services through the GDS.

AirAsia is the region’s largest LCC and operates extensive services from Australia to its Kuala Lumpur hub and beyond.

The announcement that Travelport has clinched this exclusive new partnership with AirAsia comes hard on the heels of the GDS forging a relationship with high-profile European LCC Ryanair hitherto a noted sceptic about the value of the travel agency channel. (See Global Travel story)

The moves seem to be a vote of confidence in the Travelport Merchandising Platform (TMP) technology that enables agents to see, compare and book LCC fares and ancillaries in the same way as legacy carrier offerings.

The joint announcement of the AirAsia-Travelport deal said the airline has also signed up for the GDS’s “merchandising technology including its unique aggregated shopping functionality which will enable travel agents to shop, compare and book AirAsia and AirAsia X flights alongside those offered by traditional carriers in exactly the same booking workflow”.

AirAsia Group ancillaries that will now be bookable by Travelport agents include checked-in bags, advanced seat selection and in-flight meals.

The statement quotes AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes welcoming the flexibility and wider distribution opportunities offered by the GDS channel while Travelport managing director of global distribution sales and services, Derek Sharp, said he was “delighted” to bring more LCC content to the 67,000 agents using the GDS around the world.

 

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