New air platform vindicates Travelport stance, says GDS boss

New air platform vindicates Travelport stance, says GDS boss

Travelport chief executive Gordon Wilson hailed the company's new platform unveiled yesterday as a first for global distribution systems (GDSs).

Speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Abu Dhabi, Wilson said: "Everything will be on one screen."

Wilson told Travel Weekly: "We are working with easyJet, British Airways, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, KLM. There will be so much content."

Travelport, parent of GDSs Worldspan and Galileo, argues the platform will let airlines distribute however they choose and differentiate services while aggregating everything on a single screen for agents.

Wilson said: "We don't want customers worrying about the plumbing."

Travelport is working to incorporate American Airlines' direct connect technology into the platform after the companies signed a new distribution agreement and dropped their competing legal claims in the US last month.

Wilson said: "We reached a long-term agreement acceptable to both parties, with a guarantee of access to all existing and future content.

"American Airlines will plug their technology into our Universal Desktop. We are working on the plans with American at the moment.

"The capability is in place and should be available within months."

Wilson said the deal "vindicated" Travelport's stance through the dispute with American, transatlantic partner of British Airways.

"We always said it was never a question of technology," he said. "We were not the logjam."

He declined to discuss the duration of the deal with American, but the agreement is believed to be for a minimum five years. Wilson said 70% of Travelport customers moved to one of the company's new desktops in the past year.


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