9 European carriers back new pan-European travel portal
Lufthansa, along with eight other European airlines, has signed the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) founding the Online Travel Portal Limited.
The agreement sees the establishing of a new, independent, pan-European travel portal backed by nine major European airlines. The shareholders in the joint venture are Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa.
As it gears up for launch, the company has begun a pan-European recruitment campaign with the aim of building a world class team, increasing its employee base by 60 people right across the company. It has also selected a London site for its European headquarters.
Online Travel Portal Limited`s objective is to quickly establish itself as the market leader and the first true pan-European travel portal when it launches next year. The site will offer the most comprehensive range of flights to, from and within Europe, as well as complementary products and services for travellers - all with the reassurance that customers are dealing with established brands which they can trust to deliver.
The new `dot.corporation`, which will combine the start-up culture of a dot.com backed by sound corporate values, has already ear-marked a site in London`s West End and expects to move in during late November 2000. European business leaders recently ranked London number one among European cities for on-line business.
The Internet is changing the world of travel, increasing customer expectations of choice, speed and convenience. Online Travel Portal Limited is an important new entrant in this diverse, fast-growing market.
Travel is currently the largest on-line revenue sector in Europe and is forecast to grow from $1 billion in 1999 to $22 billion by 2003. The growing European `e-marketplace` is a win-win proposition - it drives economic growth and broadens consumer choice.