Mathias Spitta, Idiso GDS specialist, considers them to be just some of the innovations that these large distribution systems are preparing while they are consolidating at the same time as strong reservation channels.
Amadeus has increased its turnover by almost 40% in the first quarter of this year, partly due to their agreement with Southwest Airlines. Sabre and Travelport have also grown: 4.4 and 2%, respectively.
After speaking to executives from these companies to analyse their current positions Business Travel News published the following information. Tom Klein, Sabre CEO, is optimistic. “We hope to reach 1,000 million revenue in the coming years. Moreover, even though we lost the bidding for the Southwest contract to Amadeus, we have been able to make up for it by signing with American Airlines ” he explains.
Also, the finance director, Rick Samson, said that the company expects to close the year with a positive balance of between 2.5 and 3%, but Travelport have more modest aspirations, as they are undergoing a process of change.
Gordon Wilson, Travelport President, has indicated that they are investing in module software updates (add on) and improvements in output and process control, also it should be highlighted that with the opening of Travel Commerce Platform, the new business line, profits rose 2% in 2013.
Taking into account these uptrend market forecasts, we asked Mathias Spitta, our Idiso GDS expert, his opinion on the global distribution systems future:
1) What is this trend due to?
I think we can say that the prediction of travel agents disappearing due to the OTAs and direct channels was wrong. GDSs have always specialized in the Business segment and together with the travel agents they are still the best distribution channels. It is somewhat curious that the well-known low cost airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair, after their consolidation, have carried out alliances with the GDSs so as to be able to sell their flight tickets on these systems, something unthinkable a few years ago. Or that Expedia has started their adventure in the business segment with Egencia, agencies working with Worldspan GDSs.
2) How does this affect Idiso?
We are noticing the same trend, February and March have been very strong months, almost 20% increase in reservations with respect to last year, and a cumulative first quarter at around 3%.
3) What innovations will be implemented in the near future?
The GDSs are in constant innovation, so it would not be surprising to see various changes between now and the future. Aggregators, partnerships with companies in the sector, content tools, simple websites and graphic environments, simpler usability, these are some of the many improvements we have seen and will see in short.
4) Customization is a very important concept today. How is it achieved by the GDSs?
Although travel agents have suffered in the last years, as I mention in the first point, they have not ceased to exist, far from it. But the environment has changed and will continue to do so, for this reason it is essential to specialize. Many agencies have specialized in the business segment and GDSs have gone with them, offering business customers service and solution portfolios regarding their demands. The use of “Self Booking Tools” are a clear example of specialization and customization.