Galileo strengthens ties in Asia Pacific

Galileo has revealed that since January 2007, it has enhanced the air and non-air content it makes available to its connected travel agents by signing distribution or functionality agreements with some of Asia Pacific’s leading airlines and hotel chains.This content will be further enhanced by Travelport’s purchase of Worldspan last week, as the complementary strengths of both Galileo and Worldspan will bring even greater offerings to suppliers and subscribers in the future.

In the first eight months of this year, the GDS has signed content distribution agreements with a Low Cost Carrier and a new Myanmar based airline; renewed partnerships with six leading Asia Pacific based full service carriers which collectively operate more than 500 aircrafts and serve up to 75,000 million passengers per year; and implemented e-ticketing on over 30 Asian airlines including Air India, Air China, Hainan Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
Globally to date, Galileo has content and distribution agreements with over 470 airline carriers and some 75 low cost carriers, and implemented e-ticketing on over 183 airlines in 94 countries.  On average, three out of four tickets are issued electronically, representing 77.5% of total tickets issued on Galileo and Apollo.  As a direct result of e-ticketing, Galileo is estimated to be saving a minimum of 14 acres of forest per month. 
Brad Holman, President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Galileo by Travelport, said, “Providing competitive airline content to our travel agency customers is a top priority at Galileo and we are pleased to note that we are consistently delivering on this key requirement.  The first half of the year saw us fostering stronger partnerships with leading Asian Pacific carriers, which builds on our already extensive breadth of global travel content to provide competitive and accurate fares and inventory via our GDS.  In addition, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide unique value propositions namely, extensive global reach, innovative technology and customized solutions to our airline partners,” Holman added.
“Moving forward, Galileo will continue to work with the industry to enhance the content and functionality that we make available to our connected travel agents, while providing innovative distribution solutions for airline partners to drive higher sales and improved efficiencies,” said Holman.
In the area of hotel services, Galileo is leading the industry in its ‘Best Available Rates’ (BAR) programme with over 150 hotel brands participating, representing more than 30,000 properties in 74 countries.  So far, a total of 18 prominent hotel chains had signed up to this programme this year, including key Asian based chains like Marco Polo Hotels, ANA Hotels International, Langham Hotels International and Pacific International Hotels.  They join other major hotel chains such as Meritus Hotels & Resorts; Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts; Raffles Hotels & Resorts; Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group; and Millennium & Copthorne which are currently on the BAR programme.
Said Jane Lewis, Director of Hospitality Distribution, EMEA, Asia and Pacific, Galileo by Travelport, “As a result of our commitment to provide our travel agents with the best available hotel rates and most up-to-date inventory, Galileo has solidified a clear position of leadership in the hotel content arena, and we would like to thank all our hotel partners for their continued support.”
As a testimonial to its success over the past year which reaffirmed its standing in Asia Pacific as the system of choice for both travel suppliers and agents, Galileo was recently awarded the “Best GDS” in Travel Weekly Asia’s prestigious travel industry awards held in Hong Kong and “Best Agency Support Service” in the National Travel Industry Awards for Excellence 2007 organised by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.  Noted in particular by the judges of both industry awards were Galileo’s ease of navigation, extensive content, track record in innovation and service excellence.