A UK-based software development company has partnered with Australian airline Qantas to help “modernise” its group bookings technology for travel agents.
Calrom says airlines currently face challenges when managing group bookings and that many airlines manage the complicated requests manually and via legacy systems.
Its solution – developing Groups Next Gen (GNG) – it designed to provide planning through to front-end website design, build and hosting, as well as training and support.
Calrom says GNG allows airlines to automate and manage the entire group booking process, from initial registration and availability request through to ticketing and remittance, ensuring adherence against the terms and conditions applied and any associated compliance revenue is identified and collected.
It includes an online travel agency portal that allows customers to benefit from round-the-clock, real-time pricing, booking, ticketing and management.
Commercial director Warren Daws said: “Groups Next Gen provides airlines with a unique group sales opportunity, empowering the groups and revenue management functions to drive yield and load optimisation, whilst also reducing distribution costs.
“We’ve successfully improved the productivity of the groups function of global airlines such as Qantas, enabling sales growth, as well as the collection of compliance revenue. Most significantly, GNG has resulted in enhanced satisfaction and engagement from traditional travel agency customers. And we’ve also provided Qantas with the facilities to open up sales in new sectors to meet their wider strategy.”
Nathan Smeulders, manager of agency sales at Qantas, added: “We have met or exceeded all of our key objectives, and have realised additional benefits and revenues too, thus we’re positioned to utilise the groups market much more strategically.
“Automating a large proportion of our manual processes, and providing our trade customers with intelligent self-servicing tools has had a hugely positive impact on our groups operations.”
GNG also operates in North American, European and Asian markets for Qantas, where the system is configured to issue confirmations, deadline reminders, and booking statements in the relevant language, as well as in the required currency. Airlines can manage and apply market or customer-specific terms and conditions.
Travel agents are able to access their group account through an airline branded web portal. Agents have full control over their bookings from availability and pricing through to ticketing, which can also be done in their own GDS.