Travelport GDS, a global distribution system (GDS) provider operating both the Galileo and Worldspan systems, last month revealed plans to invest in the Middle East to set up a new direct support network for travel agents in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In addition, it will more than double the size of its regional team based in Dubai.
Galileo has established itself as leader in the UAE over the last 17 years, with a share of 62.85 per cent (source: MIDT data, April). The new, expanded Travelport GDS operation will service Galileo subscribers directly for the first time and activities are already well underway to recruit an additional 50 employees.
Direct operations will commence on January 1, 2009 following the expiry at the end of this year of Galileo’s contract with current distributor Emquest, part of the Emirates Group.
“This significant investment in the UAE is a clear demonstration of our commitment to this fast-growing region,” said Rabih Saab, Travelport GDS’ vice president for the Middle East and Africa.
“We have successfully established Galileo as the GDS of choice and we would like to extend our thanks to our current distributor for the role they have played in helping us achieve this. It is now time to step up our activity and build a substantial, wholly owned operation in the region, which, coupled with the ongoing roll out and enhancement of our leading edge technology and solutions such as Rapid Reprice, Ask Galileo and e-learning, will position us to serve our customers more effectively,” said Saab.
The announcement of the expanded direct operation follows a series of recent investments Travelport has made in the UAE including the opening of a new regional office in the Dubai Silicon Oasis and several key management appointments.
Travelport GDS also offers travel agents in the UAE its Worldspan system through a separate agreement with local distribution company, Stargate Cyber Active. This agreement will continue.
Travelport GDS provides real time travel information and booking capabilities to online and offline travel agencies in over 145 countries.
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