Gradient enables Northwest Airlines to expand its bi-lingual online booking sites

Gradient, a Sabre company, develops Online Booking Sites in Korean and Traditional Chinese Languages.
Northwest Airlines, the world`s fourth largest airline, announced the availability of national native online websites for Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, powered by the technology provided by Gradient, a Sabre company.
These sites, which went live on May 25th, are bi-lingual? English and the national native language. The sites allow customers to switch between native language and English at any point during the booking process. Northwest Airlines is a leader in offering such native language capabilities and the sites can be accessed at the following addresses: Northwest Airlines Korea, (http://book.nwa.com/kr), Hong Kong (book.nwa.com/hk) and Taiwan (book.nwa.com/tw). Gradient began their relationship with Northwest Airlines when Gradient was chosen to develop the Japanese language online booking site, (book.nwa.com/jp). This effort was soon followed by launch of an online booking site in Singapore ( book.nwa.com/sg).
Ipsos-Reid, a leading provider of global public opinion and market research, found in a recent study “The Face of the Web” that nine in ten non-English speakers prefer online information in their own language. They also believe that the growth in local language content will succeed in converting less frequent users into heavy users in non-English speaking countries.
It was with this in mind as well as meeting customer`s expectations that Northwest Airlines decided to develop bi-lingual websites.
“Because our Japanese language booking site is a great success, we decided to roll-out further native language booking sites. Our new sites are in Traditional Chinese and Korean, and we will be rolling-out more native language booking sites in Asia in the coming months,” said Perry Cantarutti, Director, Marketing and Distribution Planning, Asia-Pacific for Northwest Airlines.
The booking sites were designed around Gradient`s Optima.Res, a multi-language, multi-currency and multi-GDS booking engine that draws real time information from Worldspan, the GDS partly owned by Northwest. The sites will be hosted in Gradient`s data centre in Dublin.
“One of the key strengths of our booking engine has always been the multi-lingual capability. Launching the Asian language sites highlights that we can develop sites in all languages ? European and Asia-Pacific,” said Jeff Harmon, senior vice-president, Sabre`s online travel solutions.
Both leisure and business customers are targeted. For the price conscious traveller, they can search flight options by lowest available fare while time-pressed travellers can search by schedule.
The site offers travellers an easy travel experience by allowing a person to search and price a flight before registering to complete the booking. Customers can access the reservation tool directly from the home page using the Fast Trip Finder, which brings the consumer straight to the availability and pricing page, or via the main booking pages.
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