Galileo International has announced that it has signed a three-year agreement with British Airways (BA), ensuring that its subscribers continue to be able to book the broadest possible range of BA fares directly through the Galileo system on a worldwide basis.
This new and innovative agreement with British Airways offers Galileo-affiliated travel agencies, on-line and off-line, access to all available BA fares. The deal ensures that participating agencies will have the same fares as those available through BA’s own sales channels, such as BA.com
The new agreement, which has been discussed in depth with leading members of the UK travel industry and trade representative bodies to ensure that they fully understand the implications of this changing market dynamic for their members, is part of Galileo’s ongoing strategy to create a sustainable ongoing distribution model that benefits airlines, the travel trade and the GDS suppliers. The programme removes uncertainty for Galileo-connected agents in terms of securing ongoing access to the lowest fares. The agreement comes into effect from 1 March 2004.
“GDS’s are a key and efficient element in airlines’ distribution strategy, but Galileo has recognised the need to redefine the current model to make GDS distribution more cost-effective for airlines and travel agencies over the long-term,” commented Bryan Conway VP Airline Services, EMEA. “Our innovative agreement is the first in Europe which genuinely seeks to change the business model whilst securing what our travel agencies tell us they need above everything else - access to the same full content that is available when a customer contacts the airline direct, including via the Web.”
Dale Moss, Head of Worldwide Sales for British Airways said “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with the leading GDS in the UK. This initiative ensures that we can achieve our financial objectives whilst maintaining what is a vital sales channel for us. Travel agents will have access to the best BA fares through the Galileo GDS, which can only benefit them and ultimately their customers.”
Graham Flack, Managing Director of Portman Travel, the UK’s largest travel management network, said “Customers want to be confident that they are being offered the widest choice of fares to fit their travel plans. This agreement reinforces the role of the travel management company in delivering that reassurance, as part of a strong, value for money service. We look forward to bringing the benefits of this innovative new programme to all Portman customers at the earliest opportunity.”
The Galileo-BA programme is available to all 47,000 Galileo-connected agencies worldwide and is consistent with Galileo’s commitment to providing the widest access and distribution for the greatest value.