Ebookers relaunch delayed until April 2007

The widely anticipated relaunch of the Travelport-owned Ebookers website has been delayed by at least five months until April 2007.

A massive overhaul of the front and back end of the online travel agency was originally due for completion by November 2006, but Travelport chief executive Jeff Clarke told investors in the US today that extra testing required on the site had forced a postponement.

The news of a delay had been widely talked about in industry circles in recent months, bolstered when a Travelport insider refused to name a launch date for the site to Travolution last week but revealed Ebookers UK boss Alan Josephs would begin briefing various industry partners within the next few weeks.

Earlier today Travelport chief executive Clark said Ebookers would “continue to make progress” in its transfer to a global technology platform.

He added: “However, to allow additional time for testing to facilitate a smooth launch, we have moved the launch date of the UK platform migration from December to April.”

In June Ebookers revealed the multi-million dollar Project Austin would encompass overhauling the back ends of a string of the then Cendant-owned travel businesses, including Ebookers, Gullivers and Orbitz.

Features of the re-jigged site are expected to include a new revenue management system and full-service platform to handle flights, car hire, hotels and dynamic packaging booking.

The platform has been built on a modular system tailored specifically to the European market, but with the capability to integrate with existing US facilities.

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