Agencies to get GDS direct options

TRAVELPORT has announced plans to provide a direct service to Worldspan-connected travel agencies in Malta following the expiry of its distribution agreement with Air Malta.

The joint decision between the two parties follows Travelport’s announcement earlier in the year to set up new direct operations for travel agencies in Greece and Cyprus.

The existing Travelport hub for Southern Europe, based in Italy and headed by Damiano Sabatino, managing director for Southern Europe, will now offer travel agencies in Malta the choice of subscribing to either the Galileo or Worldspan GDS platform and Travelport is in the process of setting up an extensive new support infrastructure for the new Maltese direct operation.

“We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to the Air Malta team for their hard work over the past 17 years,” said Sabatino.

“We now feel the time is right to expand our Travelport operations in the region and provide Worldspan-connected travel agents in Malta with direct services and support.  This change to our business model will enable us to work directly with all our local customers in the region, enabling us to roll out relevant new GDS services and technology. This long-term investment decision also builds on the direct distribution network we have already successfully established across much of Europe and our wider global network over the past two decades.”

Tonio Farrugia, general manager, commercial and ground handling agreements for Air Malta, said: “I would like to thank our GDS customers in Malta for their support and cooperation over nearly two decades and wish all those we have worked with much success for the future.”

Both Travelport and Air Malta confirmed they are committed to working closely together over the coming months to ensure a seamless transition to the new structure.