Cosmos parent takes flexible route with major tech overhaul

Cosmos parent takes flexible route with major tech overhaul

Cosmos parent Monarch has overhauled its technology as part of a strategy to offer more flexible holidays on its tour operating brands.

The company joined forces with OpenJaw Technologies to implement a system, which sits between its Cosnet reservations system and its distribution channels.

The tour operator is taking a phased approach but 70% of inventory from the mainstream business has been migrated.

The partnership with OpenJaw is part of a wider plan to consolidate systems across the Cosmos brands and integrate the Monarch airline business.

The company is also using the Navitaire system, already used by many of the low-cost airlines, to tie the airline in with the tour operation.

As part of the strategy the group’s websites have also been replaced and the next step is to create a single booking path from the Monarch portal – monarch.co.uk – enabling consumers to purchase a combination of elements as well as ancillary items.

Group chief information officer Richard Mintern said: “We want to go to the next step of integration but we have to be careful because we have some very attractive conversion rates on our flights. It’s a delicate balance between getting the upsell and losing the sale.”

There are also plans to develop ways to open up the flexible offering to travel agents and the company is talking to existing technology players such as Comtec and Multicom on the best approach.

Mintern said: “We need to find a way to take the technology benefits and give them to the trade. There is no technology that will take what comes out of the dynamic packaging systems and feed it back through viewdata.”

Further development for the websites is also in the pipeline to introduce filtering, better search functionality and make it more aspirational.

 “We have done a little bit on videos and social networking but we have a whole list of things we want to do which we can now because we have the platform. The vision is that if you are coming in for a holiday you should be able to go down the direct booking route or the experience route and end up in a place with a palette of tools to help you decide.”

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