Category Archives: Agents

Millennium Hotels inks strategic partnership with Hotelbeds Group

LOGO COMBINED- Millenium Hotels and HOtelbeds Group

Millenium Hotels has signed an agreement with Hotelbeds Group that grants all of the Hotelbeds Group brands (Hotelbeds, Bedsonline, Tourico Holidays and GTA) with direct real-time access to over 1.4 million of Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ annual room nights in more than 60 global business and leisure travel destinations. The pact will strengthen Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ distribution through Hotelbeds’ presence in more than 140 markets, spanning a wide range of channels including airlines, MiCE operators, point redemption schemes, retail travel agencies and tour operators representing over 60,000 travel distributors. Mark Redmond, Head – Global Chains, Hotelbeds Group, commented: “We are delighted to be connecting to Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ global hospitality offering. This will be a strong relationship in delivering special rates and availability across the MHR portfolio to our clients, while giving MHR access to higher-margin, niche segments of the travel market.” Also, Nayan Peshkar, Senior Vice President, Digital, Distribution and Revenue Strategy, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, said, “We are pleased to be working with Hotelbeds. This supports the Group’s wider distribution strategy of reducing reliance on static rate and room agreements in the leisure segment.”

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Amadeus expands airline business unit in Dubai regional hub

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Amadeus has expanded its airline business unit capabilities at its Dubai regional hub covering Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. Following the regionalisation of all business units to get closer to their customers, teams in the Dubai regional hub now include those of airlines, travel agencies, airport IT, payments, mobile and legal. Sabine Hansen Peck, SVP, People & Culture, Communication and Brand, Amadeus, opened the new office of the Dubai-based Amadeus Regional Hub. Further, commenting on the occasion, she said, “The Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions are relevant and growing markets for Amadeus. This expansion reflects our commitment to the region.”

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Travelport becomes first GDS operator to offer NDC content

Travelport GDS operator

Travelport has become the first GDS operator to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard. The first transaction was made by a British agency, Meon Valley Travel, on October 19 for a short-haul low-cost flight from London to Milan issued by a major European carrier. The new capability allows bookings to be made for any services on the airline without incurring a surcharge. Travelport’s new NDC capability is enabled using similar XML connections to those Travelport already deploys with APIs for over 20 low-cost carriers. The company published a roadmap for its initial range of NDC products in February, having been the first GDS operator in December 2017 to acquire Level 3 certification from IATA as an aggregator. It will also be followed by a series of product enhancements, including a version for online agents in 2019. Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, said: “We are delighted to have taken a lead in bringing the NDC era to life. It has required an extraordinary amount of skill and expertise to make this happen and I want to thank my own colleagues at Travelport as well as our partners. We are still at the earliest stages of NDC deployment. Its evolution will continue to take time as we learn from the practical experience of its first use. Meanwhile, we continue to offer a comprehensive global travel commerce platform capable of handling mass volumes of searchable and bookable content at speed for the world’s travel providers and agents.”

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Travelport secures seven new Trip Assist agreements in Europe

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Travelport has announced it has secured seven new agreements in Europe to deploy Trip Assist, its advanced mobile application for travel management companies and travel agencies. The announcement was made during the company’s exclusive Travelport Live Europe event in Rome, Italy, which was attended by over 200 business leaders from across the region. The new agreements are with four Hungary-based travel agencies, Weco-Travel, Air Partner,  utazom.com and OTP Travel, two UK-based agencies, Amber Road Travel and Lycafly, and Italy-based Regent International. Since the mobile solution was launched in May 2018, Travelport has now secured more than 20 Trip Assist customers across the world. By signing up for Trip Assist, the agencies will benefit from a fully branded mobile engagement solution that allows them to support, engage and connect with travellers at every stage of their journey. Incorporating smart itinerary management capabilities and the ability to create agency-defined messages and rich push notifications, the solution will empower the agencies to build stronger relationships with their customers.

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Travelport inks long-term deal with Jet Airways

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Travelport has signed a long-term supplier agreement with Jet Airways that will be effective from April 2019 and enable online and offline travel agencies around the world to shop, book and manage itineraries for leisure and business travellers. Jet Airways will also deploy Travelport’s Rich content and Branding, from which over 270 airlines now benefit by displaying graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Damian Hickey, Head, Air-Travel Partners, Travelport, commented, “Travelport’s commitment to the Indian travel market and the provision of the widest range of content has been further evidenced today with the announcement of this new mutual commitment between Jet Airways and our company beginning April 2019. Furthermore, our position in the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas means that we are able to deliver to them a wide mix of international travellers. This is in addition to the millions of outbound and domestic Indian travellers they serve.”

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Noor Bank and Jumeirah Group sign strategic partnership deal

John Iossifidis, CEO Noor Bank, and Joe Silva, COO of Jumeriah Group

Noor Bank and Jumeirah Group have announced partnership to launch a suite of premium rewards available to Noor Bank customers. As part of the roll-out, select retail banking clients will receive complimentary Jumeirah Sirius memberships that allow them to enjoy a range of exclusive experiences and privileges across Jumeirah’s extensive portfolio of luxury hotels, residences, resorts and restaurants around the world. The collaboration reinforces the bank’s commitment to introducing unique and innovative propositions, and providing its customers access to a wealth of value-added lifestyle privileges with leading loyalty reward partners. John Iossifidis, Chief Executive Officer, Noor Bank, said, “In line with our efforts to implement value-added services to enhance customer experiences, we are delighted to partner with Jumeirah Group to present this offer to our customers. The collaboration brings tangible benefits to Noor Bank clients as well as Jumeirah outlets across the globe, and will go a long way in establishing Noor Bank as the bank of choice.” Jose Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Jumeirah Group, said, “Partnering with Noor Bank enables Jumeirah to reach a new audience, which is an important step in achieving our Jumeirah Sirius growth goals and is of strategic importance. It represents more than just driving guest behaviour through incentives. It is a way for Jumeirah to build relationships and connect more meaningfully with our loyal guests, and is an opportunity to thank Noor Bank customers for choosing Jumeirah.”

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

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Travelport has won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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Kurban Travel inks agreement with Sabre to further reach

Kurban & Sabre

Kurban Travel, a leading travel agency in Lebanon, will use innovative technology from Sabre to create an intuitive and personalised experience for its travellers. The five-year agreement will enable Kurban Travel agents to access Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS) to shop, book and manage travel content from 400 airlines, 900,000 hotel options and 40 car rental brands. Kurban Travel agents will leverage the industry-leading content, data-driven insights and intuitive interface of the new Sabre Red Workspace – the next-generation travel agency desktop – allowing them to become true travel consultants. “We are proud to partner with Kurban Travel, which will join our distinguished customer base in the region. We are constantly evolving our technology to deliver the world’s most advanced travel platform, enabling us to offer agencies faster innovation and more flexible solutions infused with data-driven insights. We stand ready to help Kurban Travel achieve its mission to grow and optimise its business, while solving travel challenges,” said Raymond Vrijenhoek, Vice President, Sabre Travel Network Middle East.

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Sharjah’s Central Hub to be ready by 2019

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Arada has unveiled the masterplan of the Central Hub, the focal point of its ground-breaking Sharjah mega development, Aljada. Spread over 1.9 million square feet, the hub is defined by its lush-green space and many water features, and is designed to be fully walkable. In total, there will be 732,000 square feet of green space in the Central Hub, including a large landscaped community park that covers a quarter of the complex. Work on the first phase of the Central Hub – which will include Arada’s state-of-the-art sales centre, an outdoor cinema space, a food truck village, skating rink and other family-friendly facilities – has already begun and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Arada is on track to complete the entire complex by 2022. Talking about the development, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Arada, said, “Our plan has always been to build extraordinary, engaging and life-changing communities. That is reflected in the bold final design of the Central Hub, which will soon be a new focal point, not just for Aljada, but for the whole of Sharjah and the rest of the UAE as well. We are working on putting together some incredible new partnerships for the Central Hub, and we will be announcing these in the coming months.”  

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Nirvana ties up with Tune Protect as its travel-protection partner

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Nirvana Over the world (NOW) has joined hands with Tune Protect as their travel protection partner for travellers, globally. Commenting on the tie-up, Lina Bassam, Executive Director – Wholesale, Nirvana Travel & Tousim, said, “Travel is the buzzword and the number of travellers from the UAE or to the UAE is growing rapidly. We have partnered with Tune Protect EMEIA to offer a variety of travel assurance plans to our travellers. Our collaboration aims at delivering a hassle-free, seamless experience, and peace of mind to our travellers, before, during and after their travel.” Arijit Munshi, General Manager, Tune Protect EMEIA, said, “Tune Protect, along with our local insurance partner, has been able to launch over 10 different travel protection plans, which can be tailor-made and diversely beneficial catering to vivid segments of travellers”. A basic Tune Protect travel protection plan offers best-in-class benefits like medical expenses due to hospitalisation anywhere in the world, worldwide accidental death and disablement coverage, loss or damage of baggage, trip delay, etc. Both Nirvana and Tune Protect are determined and committed to delivering unique and convenient risk-management solutions to travellers. This intended collaboration will bring together various comprehensive and cost-effective travel assurance covers at the time of planning a trip.

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