First European Online Travel Portal Takes Off

Lufthansa is to join forces with ten major airlines to create the first European, multi-airline, online travel market. The new site will offer the general public access to the most up-to-date fare information, including the airlines’ lowest branded fares. It is expected to attract a significant proportion of total on-line travel sales in Europe within the next two years.


The other partners in the new venture are Air France, British Airways, Alitalia, KLM, Iberia, SAS, Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines Group, British Midland and Finnair.


The ground-breaking site - to be named in the coming months - will offer independent travellers the most comprehensive range of flights to, from and within Europe. They will also be able to book hotels, car hire, insurance and other travel services through the site.


Speaking on behalf of the member airlines, J├╝rgen Weber, Chief Executive of Lufthansa, said: “This site will revolutionise the way European customers arrange their travel plans. From the comfort of their own armchair, they’ll now have access in their own language to the biggest international route network and some of the lowest fares available, as well as a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs.”
“All our research shows that customers want to be able to compare and buy offers from a wide range of airlines by visiting just one site. Now they can do just that. They will also have the reassurance that they are dealing with established brands which they can trust to deliver.”


The new venture, which is expected to launch towards the end of this year, will be managed independently of the airlines. The member airlines will remain competitors and will not share pricing or proprietary information with each other.

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The site is expected to significantly cut the cost of selling and distributing tickets for the member companies.

 

Notes to Editors


Travel is the largest on-line revenue sector in Europe and is forecast to grow from $8 billion in 1999 to $29 billion by 2003. Source: Forrester Research


For more information, please contact:


British Airways Corporate Communications 0208 738 5100
Air France Corporate Communications 0033 141 5656 00
Lufthansa Corporate Communications 0049 69 696 2999
Alitalia Corporate Communications 0039 0665 62 2972
KLM Corporate Communications 0031 20 649 1780
Iberia Corporate Communications 00 34 91 587 7462
SAS Corporate Communications 0046 8797 2424
Aer Lingus Corporate Communications 00 353 1 886 2573
Austrian Airlines Group Corporate Communications 00 43 1 1766 1230
British Midland Corporate Communications 01332 854 236
Finnair Corporate Communications 00 358 981 84970
   

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