Opodo Launches New UK Site

Opodo, the new online travel company, backed by nine of Europe`s leading airlines, today launched its UK site -opodo.co.uk - offering an extensive choice of special low Opodo fares for UK travellers.

As the only European online travel site to be backed by nine of Europe`s leading airlines - Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa, Opodo expects to have some of the lowest fares in the market, and become the market leader in online travel by 2004.

Opodo launches in the UK with some exciting research findings. Independent research by NOP confirmed that Opodo is the best place to go on the Internet to get great value prices.

?E Opodo.co.uk is cheaper than the UK average online fare for 85% of top destinations from the UK

?E When compared to other online travel sites, the Opodo price beat or matched the cheapest fare in the market 70% of the time

According to Opodo CEO Giovanni Bisignani, travellers in the UK are looking for great fares and this NOP research confirms that Opodo will be offering some of the best deals in the UK market.  Our infrastructure will provide airlines with a low-cost distribution channel as means in which to fill seats, so it really is a win-win situation.  The airlines win by having a new cost-effective vehicle to move inventory, UK travellers win through Opodo`s quick and easy-to-use site and ability to secure new and low offers for our customers.



Opodo is launching at a key time to capitalise on a major growth in the UK online travel market.  Web-based leisure travel sales are set to increase in value from 1billion to over 6billion within the next five years.


Mr Bisignani comments that this really is an important time for Opodo to launch in the UK. He added that “over the past months, as consumer confidence in flying has returned, the Internet has proven to be the ideal channel for airlines to push fares and get people flying again. Online travel is now a mature market and we are entering a period when a new generation of consumers will be looking to the web as the answer to their travel needs.  Opodo will set a new standard in the online-travel industry, offering great fares, excellent 24/7 customer service provided by travel experts, and an easy-to-use, tailor-made for the UK, web site”

In response to the Opodo launch, Jeff Harmon, senior vice president for Sabre Online Travel Solutions commented
“This is yet another significant presence in the online travel market - and
yet another reason for agents to start exploiting the online channel as
quickly and as thoroughly as they can.  This is a battle for the hearts,
minds and custom of the UK travelling public - `traditional` travel agents
have to develop an online presence in order to avoid losing business to the
worldwide web”