Travelport, one of the world’s leading global distribution system (GDS) providers and operator of both the Galileo and Worldspan systems, has announced details of further investment in Eastern Europe: the acquisition of its Galileo distribution business - Galileo Polska. Previously operated by Galileo Distribution System Ltd, the announcement is further endorsement of Travelport’s ongoing strategy of growing its presence across the region. The acquisition news follows the recent signing of two major Polish travel businesses, Sigma and Air Tours Cracow.
The new Galileo entity is the second, wholly-owned direct operation for Travelport in Poland where it has also been running a direct Worldspan operation for 15 years. As part of the acquisition, the former Galileo Polska employees will have new roles working for Travelport.
Marcin Pilarski, who was named as Travelport’s head of North Eastern Europe earlier in the year, will lead the newly combined Travelport team from the company’s hub operation in Warsaw. Despite moving under the same roof, customers in Poland will continue to have the choice of accessing either the Galileo or Worldspan platform, depending on the needs of their business and their current agreements.
“This acquisition is further evidence of our commitment to the Polish travel trade and further enhances Warsaw as the hub of our Northern European operations,” said Niklas Andréen, Travelport GDS Managing Director, Eastern Europe. “We are now better placed than ever to support the evolving needs of our customers in this region and will be able to offer our customers the best tools and solutions available from the combined Galileo and Worldspan product portfolio. Already before the completion, we have enjoyed success and growth in the GDS sector in Poland and we will now be able to accelerate this by a simpler more integrated offering.”
Pham Van Hien, Chairman of Galileo Distribution System Ltd, commented: “Galileo Polska has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Polish travel community since first entering the country to distribute Galileo in 2001 and we have seen the business successfully grow to where it is today. I wish all of the team well as they embark upon their new venture.”
Headed up and owned by Pham Van Hien, Galileo Distribution System Ltd also owns and runs Galileo GDS distribution businesses in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These distribution agreements are unaffected by today’s acquisition.
The new contracts for the Eastern European region include Travelport’s first deal with Sigma - predominantly a flight sales and tour operator business – to power the web sales of the operator using the Worldspan system. The e-commerce technology will support Sigma’s drive to significantly grow its online sales. Well-known leisure agency Air Tours Cracow’s is the second new agreement with Travelport in Poland in the same week. Air Tours Cracow will maximise both the Galileo and Worldspan platforms to broaden its distribution channels. Both businesses have signed with Travelport for the first time.