Tag Archives: Travelport

Travelport witnesses 342% rise in use of DPNA SSR codes in MEA

Requests for assistance for airline passengers with intellectual disabilities have seen an increase of 342 per cent in Middle East and Africa, following a 10-month long campaign to raise awareness of a dedicated Special Service Request (SSR) booking code by travel technology company, Travelport. SSR codes are used in the airline industry to communicate traveller preferences or needs to airlines. They are delivered through standardised four-letter codes defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The DPNA SSR code can be used by travel agents, among others, to alert airlines when a passenger has intellectual or developmental disability and needs assistance.   As part of its campaign to raise awareness of the DPNA SSR code, Travelport has shared educational ‘sign-on alerts’ and graphical ‘prompts’ more than 10 million times with hundreds of thousands of travel agents across the world through Travelport Smartpoint, its flagship Point of Sale solution that is used by travel agents, among others, to search and book airline seats, hotel rooms and more. The digital media used to reach travel agents is typically sold by Travelport to travel providers, like airlines and hotels, as advertising space.   Mark Meehan, Travelport’s Global Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Operators, said, “SSR codes play an important role in helping travel agents effectively and officially communicate the needs of travellers to IATA airlines, so it’s important agents are aware of the codes at their disposal and the kind of support that can be requested.”

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Travelport becomes sole GDS provider of Air India’s domestic flight content

Travelport confirmed that the company is now the sole global distribution system (GDS) provider of Air India’s domestic flight content in India. The contract, which was awarded to Travelport following a competitive bidding process, came into effect in November 2018 and was fully implemented as of January 1, 2020. It means, Travelport is now the only GDS provider through which travel agents in India can receive both Air India’s domestic and international flight content. The company also continues to provide all domestic and international flight content from the carrier to its wide network of travel agents across the world. As Air India is signed up to Travelport’s leading merchandising solution, Travelport rich content and branding, travel agents booking through its platform benefit from a graphically rich experience when searching for and booking the airline’s branded fares, as well as greater access to its ancillary offers. The milestone comes just one month after Meenakshi Malik, Executive Director of Commercial Operations at Air India, revealed that the carrier had already seen ‘growth of 22 per cent’ in operational profit and ‘cut down cost by around ₹300 crore’ since it began changing its distribution strategy. Malik also projected a saving of ‘₹3200 crore in five years’. Martin Herbert, Regional Managing Director for India and Sri Lanka at Travelport, said, “Wide and cost-effective distribution, coupled with impactful merchandising, are important to all airlines and we’re proud we are now the sole GDS provider of these services to Air India when it comes to both domestic and international content in India.” Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said, “Now that we have had a glimpse of last year’s performance, with respect to …

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Saudi travellers desire digitally-savvy travel experience: Travelport

Saudi Arabian travellers are leading the global demand for high-tech travel according to the findings of Travelport’s 2019 Global Digital Traveller Research, which surveyed 23,000 people from 20 countries with the following findings; 74% of Saudi Arabian travellers require concierge services such as local maps and restaurants on their smartphones (60% globally); 71% prefer in-room technology such as smart TVs and Bluetooth speakers from accommodation (60% globally); Nearly 74% of Saudi travellers consider it important whether an airline offers a good digital experience when booking a flight; Like global peers, 76% of Saudi Arabian travellers prioritise value over cost (86% globally); Customer service was however highlighted as the top priority to travellers in Saudi Arabia (78%) Technology, however, is not always the answer with two fifths (40%) of Saudi Arabian travellers saying they find, not being able to speak to a human frustrating. This is similar to the feedback from 42% of global respondents. Commenting on the findings of the research, David Gomes, Head of the Middle East and Africa, Air Travel Partners, said, “Saudi Arabian travellers want a digitally-savvy travel experience which is as engaging as the experience provided by best retailers. At Travelport, we will continue to accelerate developments in all these areas, to help the industry keep pace with the rapidly evolving needs of the modern traveller.”

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Travelport and Saudia extend partnership

Travelport announced a new distribution agreement with Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines). Under the agreement, Travelport will continue to support Saudia by providing more than 68,000 Travelport-connected agencies servicing hundreds of millions of travellers around the world with real-time access to search, sell, and book its content and inventory. As the first global distribution system to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard, Travelport will further help Saudia by giving it the opportunity to display NDC-based airline content on its platform. Richard Nuttall, VP Sales at Saudi Arabian Airlines, commented on the new deal saying, “Travelport has been a valued partner to Saudia for many years. By continuing to work with Travelport’s global network, we will provide our loyal customers with greater access to our flights and open up significant new growth opportunities for our business.” David Gomes, Head of Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, Air Travel Partners, Travelport, says, “With Saudi Arabia newly opened to tourism and visitors for growth, we are delighted that Saudia has chosen to expand its partnership with us. We are fully committed to supporting them with our travel commerce platform.”    

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Travelport and Singapore Airlines deepen NDC collaboration

Travelport further deepened its collaboration with Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the travel agency community on the implementation of SIA’s KrisConnect Programme – the airline’s initiative to leverage IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. Damian Hickey, Global Vice President & Global Head of Air Travel Partners, briefed representatives of around 200 agencies on Travelport’s NDC implementation roadmap for SIA at the launch of the airline’s expanded KrisConnect Programme in Singapore. He also offered a preview of the intuitive new NDC-enabled process which agencies can soon expect, as Travelport prepares to launch the next phase of its NDC delivery shortly. Since KrisConnect was first launched in late 2018, Travelport has been working extensively with SIA to integrate its NDC content, ahead of general availability from April 2020. Functionality is expected to be launched through Travelport’s NDC-enabled points-of-sale, starting with initial pilots with a small group of agency customers in the coming months. Agencies connecting to KrisConnect through Travelport will gain access to customised offerings that are tailored to customers’ needs and preferences. SIA has advised that they will also benefit from a wider range of fares and other content come April 2020. All of this will be delivered through an intuitive, user-friendly interface integrated into the Travelport systems they are already familiar with. This latest collaboration builds on Travelport’s leading momentum in rolling out NDC capabilities for the industry. Travelport was the first GDS to make a live NDC booking in October 2018, and is already connected to six airlines’ NDC content.

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Travelport to develop a blockchain solution for hotel commission reconciliation

Travelport has announced the development of a blockchain solution to enhance the hotel commission reconciliation process. Working with IBM Services and BCD Travel, as well as a number of high-profile hotel chains, the blockchain technology solution aims to optimise hotel commission processing on a distributed ledger by managing reconciliation, tracking and accounting for commission payments owed from hotel chains for services purchased by travellers via booking agencies. Ross Vinograd, Senior Product Director, Travelport, said: “Blockchain technology applied to commission reconciliation has the potential to deliver real ROI to both a travel agency and the hotel. Traveller modifications at property, no shows, and complimentary room nights are just a few examples that drive commission discrepancies which in turn generate escalations, cost, and revenue loss. Our aim is to put the lifecycle of a booking on the blockchain and we believe doing so will drive transparency, trust, and ultimately booking volume.” Kurt Wedgwood, IBM Blockchain Leader-Travel, added: “Global distribution companies and providers would benefit from this use of blockchain technology to remove their never-ending work of reconciliation to spend that time adding new experiences and insights for the traveller. Eliminating the hours spent addressing dollars in dispute or the timeliness and accuracy of information allows all participants to focus on what matters most: the traveller.”  

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Travelport processes live test GDS bookings of Qantas’ NDC content

As the next step in its continuing support for Qantas’ New Distribution Capability, including the Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP), Travelport, a leading technology company serving the travel industry, has begun handling its first bookings with Qantas using IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. The bookings are being made through Travelport Smartpoint in a live production test environment as Qantas prepares distribution of differentiated NDC content from late 2019. This NDC connection to Qantas is the first by any GDS to the carrier and enables live bookings of NDC content to be made by selected agency partners taking part in the testing programme, including ATPI Corporate Travel, Globetrotter and Travel Beyond. The development is part of the airline’s plans for the QDP which is dedicated to offering an improved customer experience through enhanced and personalised content tailored to meet travellers’ unique needs. Having been the first GDS to make a live NDC booking in October 2018, Travelport has already connected to five European airlines’ NDC content. It will follow up with an API NDC connection channel through Travelport’s Trip Service API with Qantas’ content among the first to be available through this channel. The Trip Service API is also currently part of a testing programme with an Australia-based online travel agency successfully coding to it. Scott Barber, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand at Travelport, commented, “Qantas shares our vision that NDC has the potential to enhance the travel experience for its customers, offering personalised and differentiated choice and a seamless booking experience.” Peter Muller, International Board Director at ATPI Corporate Travel, added, “It’s great to be part of the team pioneering NDC for the Asia-Pacific region. We’re pleased to see …

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The Westin Mina Seyahi welcomes Arabian Travel Awards 2019

This year’s Arabian Travel Awards, to be held on October 22, 2019, will be hosted at The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina. Tolga Lacin, General Manager, The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina said, “We are very excited with this new partnership and believe that we will go a long way in creating an impact in the industry. Arabian Travel Awards is extremely important as it recognises and celebrates the hard work of those behind the success of the travel and hospitality industry in the GCC and the Middle East. We, at The Westin Mina Seyahi, truly believe that recognition always helps motivate people and gives them an opportunity to exceed expectations. Happy associates lead to happy customers.” Through such recognition, Arabian Travel Awards promotes tourism in the region, bringing to the fore new areas and technologies that cater to the needs of the modern traveller. The awards are fair & unbiased and follow a systematic method of internet-based voting. They will be divided into four categories — Personal Awards, Business Awards, Trending Awards and Partner Awards. “We are very happy to have The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina come on board as our hospitality partner for the third edition of Arabian Travel Awards. This partnership reinforces our commitment to the industry and makes it a unique experience for those who will be invited to share their success with professionals in different areas in the travel, tourism and hospitality arena. Every year, we seek new associations and opportunities so that the best is provided as a vehicle of information. We hope that this association will scale new heights,” stated Nikhil Jeet, Director, Arabian Travel Awards. Technology is …

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Travelport partners with Arabian Travel Awards for third consecutive year

The coveted, Arabian Travel Awards, on June 13, 2019, announced its partnership with Travelport, a leading travel commerce platform, for its annual award ceremony in September this year.  Arabian Travel Awards is a platform for the Middle East to recognize those behind the success of the travel and hospitality industry and to reward their continued hard work. Travelport continues to be the technology partner for the third consecutive award ceremony, reinforcing the ties between these two leading brands in the Middle East. Kathryn Wallington, Travelport’s Country Manager for the UAE, commented, “We are delighted to partner with Arabian Travel Awards 2019 for the third consecutive year as the technology partner. In the past year, Travelport has worked closely with customers and partners to launch a series of innovative solutions in travel distribution and emerging technologies, such as mobile, AR/VR, blockchain etc. Meanwhile, we have solidified our leading position in rich content with over 270 airlines currently benefiting from Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising. We also have a solid roadmap to embrace IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC).” Arabian Travel Awards are fair and unbiased, following a systematic method of internet-based voting. These awards are supported by media partners Travel TV.News, TravTalk Middle East, tourismbreakingnews and TravTalk India. “This is the third consecutive year that Travelport is coming onboard as our technology partner at the Arabian Travel Awards and we are very excited to welcome them. Having one the world’s biggest GDS platform as a partner is not a mean feat to achieve and we are happy that our association has only grown over the years. This is also a great opportunity for our award winners who will be recognized on …

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Travelport inks deal with Pakistan International Airlines

Travelport has reached a full content agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) under which the former will expand availability of PIA’s content to Travelport-connected agencies in the Americas and Asia Pacific, as well as continue to provide access across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In doing so, over 68,000 agencies globally servicing hundreds of millions of travellers will now have real-time access to search, sell, and book the airlines’ full content and inventory. As the first global distribution system (GDS) to manage the live booking of flights using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) technical standard, Travelport will soon further help PIA by giving it the opportunity to create NDC connections and display NDC-based airline content on its platform. Commenting on the new deal, Ali Tahir, Chief Commercial Officer at Pakistan International Airlines, said, “Travelport has been a valued partner to PIA for a number of years. By expanding our relationship with the company to cover the Americas and Asia-Pacific, two strategically important regions for us, we will provide our loyal customers with greater access to our flights and open up significant new growth opportunities for our business.” David Gomes, Head of Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Pakistan, Air – Travel Partners, Travelport, added, “PIA is highly valued by travel agencies in all corners of the world due it its vast international network, high quality service and large customer base. We are delighted the airline has chosen to expand its partnership with us. We are fully committed to supporting the company in achieving its international growth objectives and look forward to continuing to work with its world-class team.”

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