Galileo and Worldspan parent Travelport has forged a partnership with Russia’s largest GDS.
Sirena-Travel is used by Russian travel agents across 7,000 locations to book domestic flights on 16,000 terminals.
The deal with Travelport will give agents in Russia access to global air content negotiated and distributed by Travelport via their existing terminals from the autumn.
More than 40% of Sirena-Travel’s connected agents will have the ability to book international flights for the first time.
Other users, already selling international flights as an add-on service through separate terminals, will no longer have the additional costs associated with running separate domestic and international GDS platforms.
The system offers comprehensive booking capabilities, including interlining, electronic ticketing, reporting and payment.
International airlines working with Travelport will gain deeper distribution throughout Russia via Sirena-Travel’s network of travel agencies.
Two unnamed major international carriers have signed up to make their full published fares and inventory available in the new solution.
Other airlines have indicated a strong interest in participation, recognising the value of deepening their distribution in Europe’s fastest growing travel region where GDS bookings continue to grow by around 20% a year, according to Travelport.
Managing director for Eastern Europe Niklas Andreen said: “Our recent consumer market research in Russia has shown major frustrations amongst Russian travellers over the lack of information available and the time it takes when making a flight booking.
“We’re therefore delighted to be partnering with Russia’s leading domestic GDS to offer the local travel industry a remedy to this challenge via Sirena-Travel International.
“Today’s announcement is very much a continuation of our ongoing investment strategy and focus on this region and our preferred approach of partnering with strong, local players to expand our offering.
“Through this partnership, Travelport is able to support a new category of largely domestic-focussed travel agents and airlines in addition to the existing customer base we continue to support through Travelport’s Galileo offering.”
JSC Sirena-Travel commercial department director Marina Volodina added: “Agents remain the major booking channel in Russia so it really does make sense to enable them to work more efficiently in order to maximise their incomes,
“We’re confident that this new solution will prove to be extremely popular amongst our users, particularly those who only have access to domestic content at the moment.”