Datalex and SITA forge e-commerce platform alliance

3 Jul 2012

Dublin-headquartered Datalex has forged an alliance with one of the world’s largest global distribution systems, SITA, to deploy an e-commerce platform that merges online shopping with the travel experience.

The move by Datalex mirrors the rate of control passengers are taking over managing their journeys and the move by airlines to introduce services, such as car hire and hotel reservations.

According to the 2012 SITA/Airline Business Airline IT Trends Survey, almost all airlines now sell tickets through their web sites and more than 70pc also sell ancillary services. Within three years this is forecast to increase to more than 90pc.

SITA’s Horizon E-commerce platform is used by more than 30 airlines around the world and takes the shape of a newly updated sales and service portal airlines can use to meet changing passenger demands.

From gate to plate

New capabilities include the option of shopping not only by origin and destination but by calendar and allows travellers to book hotels, hire cars and buy insurance in one transaction.

“Airlines will enhance their relationship with their passengers who will be able to book directly with the airline rather than through travel agents or global distribution systems (GDSs),” Alison O’Neill, vice-president of passenger solutions at SITA, explained.

“In addition, airlines will be able to increase revenues through sales of optional services such as baggage, seat assignments and also through ancillary services such as car hire, hotels and insurance.

“Horizon E-Commerce enables airlines to offer more services to customers, more channels to deliver their business, more intelligence to understand their business, greater efficiency and lower cost,” O’Neill said.

Airplane for a dream image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years