Travelport have 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 1 January 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 Rs. 300 crore” since it began changing its distribution strategy. Malik also projected a saving of “Rs. 3200 crore in five years”.
Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years and now has an extensive agency partner network in the country. This includes major online travel agencies such as MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip, as well as major corporate travel agencies and newer entrants to the travel sector such as PayTM. In addition to industry-leading airline content, Travelport has a significant footprint with leading hotel groups and aggregators in India such as Oberoi, Taj, Treebo and Trident.
Martin Herbert, Regional Managing Director for India and Sri Lanka at Travelport, said: “We’re delighted to reach this landmark. 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. The results the carrier has already achieved since it started adjusting its distribution strategy have been extremely positive. We now look forward to taking performance to the next level for the benefit of the airline and its customers.”
Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said: “Since inception, this partnership between Air India and Travelport has presented impressive prospects. Now that we have had a glimpse of last year’s performance, with respect to positive reflections on growth, cost and savings for our partner – Air India; the future only seems bright from here. As the sole GDS distributor of Air India’s domestic content, we are aiming at easing the process, cutting down unnecessary stages and offering value-added advantage in booking Air India branded fares and ancillary services, both simply and seamlessly.”