Tech deal may signal new easyJet stance on leisure links

Partners Software is to facilitate travel industry connections to easyJet’s reservation system in a move which could signal the airline’s readiness to further embrace elements of the leisure sector.

The Bremen-based software specialist has extended its deal enabling it to manage connections between approved travel agents and booking engine suppliers and the airline’s inventory.

EasyJet originally developed the API to target corporate travel and eliminate screen-scraping and distribution development manager Jerry Dunn said the strategy had not changed.

“It was developed for business travel and that remains the case, that is our main opportunity.”

However, industry insider estimate volumes booked over the technology could be as much as 9% of easyJet’s flights with the majority being leisure tickets.

Leisure technology specialists and high-street multiples are believed to be lobbying hard for the airline to maintain access for the leisure sector.

One source said: “The airline’s thinking is that by switching them off those people will go to the website. It is cheaper to go to easyJet.com so if they are not it’s because they want something else.”

Meanwhile, the low-cost carrier has been building up its ancillary inventory through deals with LateRooms and more recently holiday home specialist, Interhome.

EasyJet charges a point of sale fee of approximately four Euros per segment for bookings across the API.

The Partners agreement is based on its LOW.FARE product and follows the company’s development of a connection to easyJet’s API last year. Partners counts Thomas Cook in the UK amongst its customers.

The airline signed similar deals with UK leisure distribution specialists Comtec and Multicom last year while deals with global distribution giants Amadeus and Travelport were formed about 18 months ago. Sabre also reached an agreement this year.

Dolphin Dynamics has, to date, declined to sign up to the API stating that its customers have asked it not to.

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