Travelport has today confirmed that it will be providing direct support to Worldspan-connected travel agencies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following the expiry of its distribution agreement with travel technology service provider Stargate Cyber Active at the end of last month.
The decision to amalgamate its Galileo and Worldspan network in the UAE comes as Travelport continues to invest in its global distribution system (GDS) operations, foreseeing further growth potential in the country’s GDS and broader travel sector, which are both experiencing steady growth. Travelport has already identified new regional headquarters in Dubai from which it will serve all Galileo and Worldspan subscribers.
Building upon the direct Galileo operations the GDS provider has run since 2009 in the UAE, Worldspan customers will benefit from a successful and firmly established operation, which includes round-the-clock technical support, comprehensive training resources and a strong, dedicated commercial accounts team. Travelport currently employs more than 75 UAE-based professionals to support its customer’s wide-ranging needs.
‘I’d like to personally thank Sean and the Stargate team for their hard work over the years,” said Rabih Saab, president and managing director Travelport in the Middle East and Africa. “We now feel the time is right to extend our Travelport operations and provide Worldspan-connected travel agents in the UAE with the same support that we provide to our Galileo subscribers. This change will enable us to work directly with all our local customers to roll out exciting new GDS services and technology.”
The new combined Galileo and Worldspan entity will continue to offer travel agencies the choice of subscribing to either GDS platform and will be headed up by Ghulam Al Balooshi, a GDS veteran and Travelport’s country director for the lower GCC. The existing team will be boosted by several customer-facing staff with specific Worldspan knowledge and expertise.
Worldspan, which was acquired by Travelport in 2007, is renowned for its e-commerce and Internet-based technologies, delivering some of the global travel industry’s most advanced web-based solutions. Its e-commerce leadership can be seen in its powerful shopping and pricing tools, which are used by some of the world’s leading travel web sites and agencies.
Travelport re-appointed Stargate as its Wordspan distributor in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.