Irish car hire technology firm carTrawler.com has signed a three-year agreement with LOT Polish Airlines enabling LOT to retrieve real-time inventory and pricing from over 450 car hire providers in over 134 countries.
It marks the first time that an airline has used a multi-supplier real-time feed directly onto the inventories of car rental companies.
LOT will use CarTrawler’s technology to provide a superior level of availability and revenue management than traditional channels for car rental supply.
“Finally an airline can provide a reliable and highly lucrative ancillary service like car rental to its customers without being restricted by long lead-in times and poor availability which have traditionally made car hire a poor additional service,” said CarTrawler.com’s chief executive and founder Greg Turley.
“By using CarTrawler, we are expecting LOT to achieve very significant improvements in ancillary revenue from their web channel whilst providing their customers with a very important addition to their service,” Turley added.
In September, CarTrawler.com said that it was planning to double the size of its 65-strong workforce as a result of a rapidly expanding international client base.
The company, which grew out of Dublin-based car hire company Argus Car Hire, has evolved into an online travel powerhouse and has established a white-label car hire-booking engine that is now used in 135 countries worldwide, offering in excess of 9,000 car hire locations.
In 1996 Arguscarhire.com became the first European English-language car hire rental website and by 1999 had launched the industry’s first online quotation and booking facility. Today the company is one of the top three global independent car hire providers.
The CarTrawler web-booking technology firm that grew out of Arguscarhire.com has already outstripped the growth of the original car hire business and caters specifically for DIY travellers who are looking for the best deals in car hire.
In the first half of 2006 CarTrawler.com revenues increased by over 56pc, which the company attributes to strong sales of its web-enabled car rental distribution technology.
By John Kennedy
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