Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Air India ends 30-year-old ties with ticket reservation company

Mumbai: In an important move, national carrier Air India (AI) ended its thirty-year-old relationship with global air ticket reservation data provider Amadeus on Tuesday. Travel agents say the immediate impact will be felt by passengers whose AI tickets were booked through agents/travel portals using Amadeus computerised reservation network, which is a Global Distribution System (GDS) company.

GDS is a computer network and reservation tool that holds real-time data on airline inventory, fares, availability and other such details, and passes it on to travel agents to allow them to make bookings.

If these passengers plan to cancel, change or rebook their tickets, they might face a problem since Amadeus no longer handles AI bookings. AI officials allayed these fears, stating the airline has done the groundwork and passengers won’t face any problems on account of the change.

At 5.30 am, AI took its air ticket inventory off Amadeus global computer network to deepen its relationship with the latter’s rival, the UK-based Travelport. With the move, AI believes it will save Rs 3,000 crore in the next six years. AI’s critics have warned that severing relationship with Amadeus, the current market leader, would impact its ticket bookings, as most of the travel agents in India are on the Amadeus system.

Globally, the most popular GDS companies are Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre.

05/12/18 Manju V/Times of India

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