Travelport announced a "joint product development agreement" with existing partner TravelSky Technology Limited of China. Travelport for years has provided to TravelSky airline technology, including e-ticket and interline systems, but now it will jointly develop technology with an entity not known for innovation.
A Chinese state-controlled firm, TravelSky provides reservations and departure control systems for Chinese airlines and operates the only global distribution system currently licensed to issue tickets in that country.
"The partners in this joint development project bring complementary skills and experience," according to a statement attributed to Travelport Airline IT Solutions president and managing director Derek Sharp. "TravelSky has a rich history of providing technology to the growing Asian region, while Travelport has experience serving the largest airline in the world. TravelSky and Travelport are combining their technical and product knowledge to produce technology that will serve a wide variety of airlines. In addition, both partners are committed to improving the quality of their products while growing their business."
According to Travelport, the TravelSky partnership now will include a focus on "advanced passenger service systems technology for airlines worldwide," starting with a "Master Seat Maps module--which applies marketing and customer value to the physical seat characteristics of a given aircraft."
A statement attributed to TravelSky executive vice president Huang Yuan Chang characterized the agreement as "a milestone" for his company, which "never before signed a development agreement of this magnitude with any GDS or airline vendor."
Travelport has been operating in China since 1996 and now has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as regional headquarters in Hong Kong.