Galileo International today commended U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Bush Administration for taking bold action to deregulate the airline computer reservation system (CRS) industry.
Samuel L. Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Cendant’s Travel Distribution Services Division said, “The DOT’s move is pro consumer and pro competition, and comes at a pivotal time for the airline industry. Airline passengers, airlines and CRSs will all benefit from the robust competition that deregulation will generate.”
In anticipation of the government’s move to deregulate the industry, Galileo - working closely with its airline partners - took significant steps during the past year to maximize its competitiveness in a deregulated CRS environment. “Galileo is well positioned to continue providing our travel agency customers with the widest selection and best fares over the long term,” Katz said. “Over the past few months, we have secured full fare-content agreements with all six of the leading U.S. airlines and launched several new technology solutions for our customers that help them add revenue.”
The company’s new Preferred Fares Select (PFS) program - launched last July - provides Galileo-connected agencies in the U.S. with access to participating airlines’ publicly available fares. This competitive content includes all fares the airlines sell through any CRS, third-party Web sites or their own Web sites and reservation offices. American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways each committed to participate in the PFS program for three years. Yesterday, Galileo also announced a new pricing agreement with British Airways, which secures full content for its subscribers on a global basis. Galileo is also providing its subscribers with a range of new solutions and capabilities for increasing revenue as the travel industry evolves, including Galileo Web! Hotels, desktop access to merchant hotel rates and Galileo NeatAgent, a dynamic packaging tool that enables agents to set both the final retail price and profit margin on customized travel packages created by combining discounted airline, car and hotel rates.
Katz said, “Galileo’s recent airline agreements directly benefit airline passengers and travel agents by providing greater choice and lower fares, and they benefit airlines by increasing distribution of published fares while decreasing related fees to airlines. We have also expanded the tools and services available to our travel agency customers to enable them to transform themselves into travel merchants and profit centers that are better positioned to compete in the changing marketplace. As the global travel industry continues to evolve, we will continue to work closely with travel suppliers and distributors and introduce more innovative solutions that help them remain competitive, productive and profitable.”