Travel Weekly reports today that Cendant is refining the direct-connect technology it inherited from Orbitz to develop alternative distribution models, including corporate booking solutions on airline web sites and a travel agency desktop. Cendant acquir

Published: 15 Mar 2005

Travel Weekly reports today that Cendant is refining the direct-connect technology it inherited from Orbitz to develop alternative distribution models, including corporate booking solutions on airline web sites and a travel agency desktop. Cendant acquir

Orbitz evidently called the technology Third Party Supplier Link, because it was designed to create direct links between suppliers and travel agencies other than Orbitz.

Cendant believes the technology will enable it to become a more nimble distributor as it competes against Sabre, the other res systems and the GDS new entrants.

In essence, explains Travel Weekly, the Orbitz direct-connect technology is designed to enable airlines, travel agencies, hotels, car rental companies and CVBs to create direct links to supplier inventory, bypassing the GDSs.

Mike Nelson, Senior Vice President of Supplier Services for Cendant Travel Distribution Services, has been cited as saying this year the company will implement at least one corporate portal on an airline web site where the airline will use Orbitz direct-connect technology to give corporate clients access to multiple airlines.

An airline’s corporate portal could display its flights preferentially or show all the carriers in a neutral manner. Such a corporate portal could involve inventory from nonair suppliers, Travel Weekly adds.

Apparently about half of Orbitz’s airline volume comes through direct connections to Alaska, American, America West, Continental, Northwest, US Airways and United.

“Cendant has the advantage of having both the GDS and supplier-link capabilities,” Travel Weekly has quoted Nelson as contending. “If travel agencies express an interest in this technology or a different economic model, then we’ll talk to them about that model.

“If we can maintain the breadth of content through the GDS, then that’s still the best solution for them.”

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