Worldspan gears up for new push on travel-tech market

Worldspan is ready to make a big impact in the market following its successful integration into Travelport GDS, according to UK general manager Patrick Lukan.

Lukan was talking to Travolution after Worldspan announced a three-year deal to provide with its GDS product.

The UK-based OTA has access to content and a suite of products, including Worldspan’s leisure-focused pricing technology “which listens to the shopper and gives them options based  on price.”

He said that other Worldspan deals were in the pipeline. “That’s new business wins, as well as organic growth with existing clients,” he said, promising more details in due course.

Travelport, which also owns Galileo, bought Worldspan at the back end of 2006, with completion taking place in August last year. At the time, it made no secret of its intentions to not only capitalise on Worldspan’s strengths with OTAs and technology but also to help reduce overall costs for Travelport.

“We’ve reduced our unit transaction costs through the integration,” he said, “and Worldspan’s ‘low cost distribution’ proposition has more credibility under the Travelport umbrella.”

He also said that running two GDS brands was a viable option moving forward.

“We’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he insisted. Some Worldspan products – such as Rapid Repricing – have been integrated into Galileo, with Galileo tools such as its rail solution becoming available to Worldspan agents.

A lesser-known component of Travelport GDS is G2 Switchworks, one of the so-called GDS new entrants which entered the market in 2005.

Travelport bought “certain software assets and intellectual property rights” from G2 earlier this year.

Lukan described this as “game-changing technology” and suggested that it could make an appearance in the UK market in 2009.

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