Opodo sets sights on global expansion

Opodo sets sights on global expansion

Online travel agency Opodo will launch in new markets in 2008, including an ambitious first foray outside of its traditional European base.

Chief executive Ignacio Martos, in his first interview since joining the company in December 2006, said the online travel agency is considering plans to push into India and China in late-2008, as well as countries in Europe it doesn’t currently serve.

Martos said a major restructuring of the company to de-centralise many of its functions meant launching into new markets will be easier in the future.

The former boss of Rumbo, a Spanish OTA part-owned by Opodo majority shareholder Amadeus, admitted there were “inefficiencies” at the company but the new management structure had streamlined operations.

Each territory now has a country manager responsible for all commercial and marketing activity, with technology and back office systems controlled from London.

In the past 12 months almost 20% of the workforce has left the company – there is currently a headcount of around 480 people in nine markets across Europe.

UK country manager Caroline Noble said a range of new functions will be added to the Opodo site in 2007, including user reviews for hotel properties.

Martos was appointed by Amadeus after the shock departure of Simon Vincent to Hilton last year.

Q&A with Ignacio Martos

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