Travelport has declared itself “bullish” on the state of the UK market despite “a softening of demand” and “far from finished” on growing its business in the UK.
The GDS owner reported second-quarter results this week which Travelport president and chief executive Gordon Wilson described as “solid and consistent with last year”.
Wilson revealed the company aims to double the number of carriers signed up to its Merchandising Platform within months.
The platform allows airlines to control how fares and ancillaries are presented to travel agents and this week Travelport had 50 airlines signed up.
But Wilson said: “We are far from satisfied. We would hope to be in triple digits for airlines signed up within a few months.”
Asked about the current state of the UK market, he said: “The second quarter was a bit softer than we anticipated – we definitely saw some softening of demand.
“Airlines have been getting a bit nervous about capacity, including on transatlantic routes, and August is a bad month for business trips.
“But we also see some very positive signs this quarter.”
He conceded: “It’s a mixed bag on price. There is some price dilution in certain areas – Europe is one – but pricing in premium cabins is relatively strong.
“Overall I’m bullish on the UK market. All the economic indicators are sound.”
Wilson added: “We are far from finished on our growth ambitions in the UK. We see a massive opportunity. We are very excited about the UK.”
Travelport remains in discussions with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the detail and timing of a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO), likely to proceed this autumn.
Wilson declined to comment on the IPO process.
The company reported a 4% rise in revenue year on year in the six months to June and a 6% increase in operating profit.