Travelport predicts rapid rise of EMD and virtual payments

Travelport predicts rapid rise of EMD and virtual payments

Travelport expects rapid adoption of its new Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) platform for airline ancillary sales after the first booking was registered last month.

Speaking during a media call on the GDS’s first quarter results president and chief executive Gordon Wilson said the product had implications “way beyond ancillaries to anything airlines want to sell.”

“It’s a new product but we have done it through Iata industry standard so it should be a relatively quick adoption,” Wilson said.

Wilson added that progress was being made in the virtual digital payments area through its partnership with eNett of which it is a majority stakeholder.

EasyJet has recently announced a deal with eNett and signed an enhanced agreement with Travelport making its flights available to leisure agents.

“Travelport believes the position of alternative methods of payment where eNett leads the world will gain further traction,” Wilson said.

In its latest trading update, Travelport said it saw operating profits and EBITDA both drop in the first quarter of the year.

Operating income was down 16% to $66 million while EBITDA dropped by 9% to $123 million over the same period last year.

This came despite a 4% rise in net revenue to $550 million as a result of a 4% increase in transaction processing revenue after a 2% increase in segment volumes.

The figures came two days after the Galileo and Worldspan parent completed the refinancing of $162 million of non-extended term loans due in 2013 through the issuance of new term loans due in 2015.

The company also extended the maturity of $61 million of its revolving credit facility to May 2015. Net debt stood at $3,169 million at the end of March.

Wilson said: “This quarter has seen significant enhancements in our geographical position in the key growth regions of Asia and Africa, as we continue to execute on our strategy.

“Travelport announced a major partnership with AXESS, the GDS owned by Japan Airlines, which will run on Travelport technology by late 2013, as well as the vertical integration of our franchise in Southern Africa.

“Financial performance was solid and in line with our expectations, and we successfully restructured our near term debt.”

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