e-Travel announced that EVA Air has launched Chinese and English-language versions of e-Travel Planitgo to power their internet booking websites in Taiwan and the United States. Local language websites and booking engines are expected to be key growth drivers of the Asia Pacific online travel market, a market predicted to grow more than threefold in five years, from US$4.8 billion in 2002 to US$16 billion (with more than 500 million internet users) in 2006.
In line with these projections, in 2003 Asia Pacific produced the highest number of Planitgo bookings by region (over 4.5 million); success mirrored in the strong growth of online bookings for airlines Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways (who recorded growth of between 25% and 300% when compared with 2002). The tremendous growth achieved by existing customers and increasing numbers of new clients show that Planitgo, now implemented in four languages (including English, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese) in the region is enabling airlines to benefit from economies-of-scale and a rapid return on investment.
Mr. Austin Cheng , Junior Vice President, Information Management, EVA Air, said, “The deployment of this dual-language Planitgo Internet booking engine on www.evaair.com represents an expansion of the airline’s distribution strategy in response to overwhelming customer demand for complex multiple-sector and interline bookings through this channel, coupled with expectations of strong online growth, both in Taiwan and internationally.”
This, together with the recent deployment of Planitgo for four other airlines including Aeropelican Air Services, Air Link, Air Vanuatu and Sunshine Express Airlines bring the total number of airlines in the region using Planitgo to twelve. The other seven include Air Pacific, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Qantas and Thai Airways for their domestic and international booking engines and Japan Airlines and Korean Air for components of their international e-commerce presence. These join more than fifty airlines worldwide currently benefiting from the fully customisable web-based travel booking engine, serving leading airlines, online travel agencies and other travel supplier sites.
Mr. Peter Smith, Director, e-Travel Asia Pacific, said, “e-Travel’s commitment to the strategic success of airlines, corporations and travel agencies in the region is reflected by the strong take-up of our industry-leading solution Planitgo. With e-Travel Planitgo, Asia-Pacific’s airlines are harnessing the huge online booking growth potential of this channel, coupled with the strength of the region’s largest and fastest-growing IT solutions provider for the travel industry, Amadeus.”