Travelport is to acquire Galileo Southern Africa from South African Airways for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition of the Galileo GDS business marks the continuation of its investment in the region after Travelport set up a direct Worldspan operation for travel agents in South Africa two years ago.
The new, combined entity will be known as Travelport Southern Africa with plans to extend the products and services provided to local travel agents.
A new five-year full content agreement has been signed as part of the deal to provide Travelport-connected agents with access to SAA’s full published fares and inventory as well as guaranteeing functionality parity with all other distribution channels.
Travelport Africa managing director Mark Meehan said: “We’d like to extend our thanks to SAA and the Galileo Southern Africa team for their hard work over almost two decades.
“We now feel the time is right to extend our Travelport operations in the region and provide Galileo-connected travel agents in Southern Africa with the same direct distribution relationship that we provide to our Worldspan subscribers.
“This change to our business model will enable us to work directly with all our local customers in the region to roll out relevant new GDS services and technology.
“This is also a long-term investment decision and builds on the recently expanded distributor network we have established across much of Africa with Johannesburg as a key regional hub.”
SAA commercial general manager Theunis Potgieter added: “I would like to thank the travel trade in Southern Africa for its invaluable support over the last 20 years and wish all those we have worked with much success for the future.
“As we focus on our airline operations, we will continue to work closely with Travelport as a valued partner to distribute our air fares to the global travel industry. SAA will also continue to maintain very close relations with the travel trade in Southern Africa.”