Amadeus which displays real-time fares and flight information from LCCs
Joint venture with Expedia is first-of-its-kind partnership between LCC and online travel agent
LOW-COST airline operator AirAsia, which recently started ferrying passengers in domestic and international routes in the Philippines, has beefed up its technology muscle in an effort to keep its fares and expenditure way below its competitors.
After getting tech firm Amadeus to provide a booking system for travel agencies, AirAsia also recently marked the first year of its joint venture between the company and online travel firm Expedia.
Last June, AirAsia and Amadeus announced the launch of a new travel booking tool, Amadeus LCC Smart, which allows travel agencies to book AirAsia content using a Web-like interface in the Amadeus global distribution system (GDS).
The launch of Amadeus LCC Smart follows the commencement of AirAsia’s domestic services earlier this year and addresses the increasing demands of travel agencies who prefer to use a simple, graphical user interface instead of the traditional “green screen” booking platform.
The solution has been designed to reduce the complexity of the booking process by reducing the number of key strokes required to finalize a booking.
Amadeus LCC Smart was developed to add value to Amadeus Ticketless Access, a solution that displays real-time fares and flight information from the low-cost carriers (LCCs) available through the Amadeus GDS.
“AirAsia and Amadeus have enjoyed a great working relationship since 2009, with Amadeus delivering advanced technology solutions that continually meet the needs of our customers in the region,” said Marianne Hontiveros, CEO of AirAsia Inc.
“This partnership also provides easy access not only to Philippines’ AirAsia destinations but to AirAsia’s extensive network that spans more than 20 countries and 75 red hot destinations across Asia and Australia,” she said.
Lorelie Tabay-Jayma, general manager of local firm Traveltime Unlimited, said that the entire process of issuing AirAsia tickets with the Amadeus system was time-saving.
“The Amadeus system has reduced the amount of time I spend editing issued tickets, which is an essential task for all travel agencies,” said Tabay-Jayma.
Travel agencies will also be able to book AirAsia flights and ancillary services such as baggage, meals, seats and comfort kits in one go, reducing the time spent on click-throughs.
They can add, remove or modify ancillary services, seats, or add additional passenger information after-pricing just as easily.
David Brett, president of Amadeus Asia Pacific said, “Amadeus LCC Smart optimizes the workflow for travel agents with the familiar AirAsia website interface, but without the need to learn different commands or leave the Amadeus Selling Platform.”
AirAsia’s domestic content will be offered at promotional rates via Amadeus LCC Smart for an unlimited period, the company said.
Amadeus LCC Smart will be available free of charge to travel agencies using the Amadeus Selling Platform distribution system in the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and with more markets in Asia Pacific in 2012.
The joint venture with Expedia, meanwhile, is a first of its kind partnership between a low-cost carrier and an online travel agent.
Over the past year, AirAsiaExpedia has launched two localized Expedia sites in Singapore and Thailand – Expedia.com.sg and Expedia.co.th – which offer travelers a selection of over 400 airlines, 150,000 hotels and build-your-own dynamic holiday packages at unbeatable value.
Expedia.com.sg is now the top online travel agency in Singapore according to the latest comScore rankings, achieving this feat in just eight months. Expedia.co.th is also well on track to match this performance.
AirAsiaExpedia plans to launch full-service Expedia sites in several Asian markets over the next nine months. With domestic and international travel on the rise, the Philippines, in particular, has been earmarked for a full-service Expedia site launch.
The site will be localized to meet the needs of Filipino travelers and will offer the best holiday deals in the market.
Building upon the success of these full-service launches, travelers can expect exclusive AirAsia flights, as well as flight and packages from over 400 other airlines, in addition to the existing hotel deals from 150,000 hotels.
“By partnering with AirAsia, Expedia has been able to bring great value travel to Asia. This joint venture has allowed us to expand very quickly in this region to offer travelers the widest range of travel deals from flights, hotels and holiday packages all on one user-friendly site,” said Dan Lynn, CEO of AirAsiaExpedia.
“With our full service sites in Singapore and Thailand, we are already helping more people explore more destinations, and the investments we are now planning in the Philippines and Malaysia will bring Travel For All to even more people. We know Filipinos have a passionate wanderlust and we can’t wait to help them fulfill that,” he added.
Kathleen Tan, board of director of AirAsiaExpedia and group head of commercial for AirAsia, said, “We knew that this joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia would definitely revolutionize the online travel agency industry when we started off last year. And we are excited to see the growth it has achieved in such a short span of time.”
“Just as AirAsia is committed to grow the market in Asia, this joint venture also aims to focus and tap into the evolving travelers in Asia. Through this partnership with Expedia, and our future plans to invest in the Philippines’ market, I am confident that AirAsiaExpedia will only further spur and grow the tourism industry in the Philippines and beyond, especially the Asean region”
To celebrate the one-year mark, a 180-seat Airbus A320 has been turned into a piece of airborne artwork. Created by a team of 20 painters who worked around the clock for 12 days, an AirAsia aircraft has been completely transformed into a bright yellow Expedia branded plane, a symbol of the partnership and synergy between both companies.
The Expedia branded Airbus A320 will be plying routes across AirAsia’s extensive route network which covers nearly 70 destinations across 20 countries, bringing the Expedia brand and experience to even more communities, especially in South-East Asia where AirAsia’s short-haul network thrives in a 600 million populated region. – Newsbytes.ph