Travelport reports revenue rise but Europe ‘soft’

Travelport reports revenue rise but Europe ‘soft’

Travelport reported a 2% increase in revenue and similar rise in operating profit year on year for the three months to September despite a 3% fall in income from air bookings.

Travel technology company Travelport’s air transaction revenue for the nine months to September was broadly flat year on year, but total revenue was up 5% driven by non-air revenue and a “strong performance” at virtual payments business eNett.

Travelport president and chief executive Gordon Wilson reported a “more challenging market and customer environment for the second half of the year”

But he hailed 58% growth at eNett “since a big surge in new business in the third quarter of last year”, saying: “More OTAs and agencies are using the product.”

Wilson acknowledged Travelport was “still dealing” with the fall-out from losing the business of Australia-based Flight Centre this year which was worth $85 million in revenue and $45 million in operating profit to Travelport.

But Wilson also told Travel Weekly: “Europe has gone a bit a soft.”

He said: “The GDS market in Europe was down overall in the third quarter by 4%. We had the World Cup, when bookings were down 4%, but after the World Cup they were still down 0.8%.

“The UK was down 2% year on year in the quarter. Russia was down 9%, and almost every European market was down year on year.

“There are an awful lot of uncertainties in Europe.”

But he added: “The US [GDS market] was up 7%, and we’re the number-two GDS in America.

“It is encouraging that in Asia we grew at 24% in air booking volumes in the third quarter when the market grew at 13%.

“India is now the second-biggest GDS air market in the world after the US – bigger than Germany. We have an exclusive deal with Indigo and will have an exclusive [distribution deal] with Air India from 2019. It gives us massive growth potential.

“We’re also big in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong.”

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