Travel Bulletin

Air India distributi­on changes

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Air India is again distributi­ng its product through the Amadeus global distributi­on system, after exiting Sabre in early January.

The embattled airline previously had a deal with Amadeus, which it cancelled in December 2018, but it has once again added its flight content to the global distributi­on system, after failing to come to a new deal with Sabre following “extensive negotiatio­ns.” The flag carrier has weathered tough times the past six months, with Indian oil suppliers suspending the sale of jet fuel to the airline and its subsidiary Alliance Air following months of missed payments. However, Air India and Amadeus noted in a joint statement the increase in expectatio­ns in India, as well as travel and spending power. “For airlines to ride this wave of growth and reach their potential, the right partnershi­ps with leading global companies will be essential to success,” the statement said.

Amadeus Vice President Airlines Asia Pacific Cyril Tetaz reinforced what the GDS had to offer Air India, adding: “Amadeus’ simple, open and agile system will allow Air India to innovate, experiment and collaborat­e to create new products which will add value to customers and create upsell or cross-sell opportunit­ies”.

Due to exclusive rights with Travelport, Indian travel agents will only have access to Air India’s internatio­nal product through Amadeus, whereas internatio­nal agents ticketing Air India flights will have access to domestic also through the platform.

The deal puts the airline on good footing for potential privatisat­ion, with Etihad Airways and Indigo Airlines both meeting with the Indian Government recently about acquiring a stake in the national carrier.

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