In a move to improve passengers’ ability to shop, book and manage their journey and enhance airlines’ direct relationship with their passengers, air transport IT specialist, SITA, announced a partnership with Datalex (DLE:I), the provider of travel distribution software and solutions.
The two companies co-operated to launch SITA’s new Horizon E-Commerce platform, which provides a sophisticated airline sales and service portal. This technology allows airlines to drive direct distribution strategies by enabling them to offer new shopping and merchandising features directly online.
Passengers are increasingly taking control of managing their journey and demand always-on, anywhere access to search, reserve and manage their travel, including flights, optional services, checking in, making car hire and hotel reservations, as well as altering their bookings if required.
According to the 2012 SITA/Airline Business Airline IT Trends Survey, almost all airlines now sell tickets through their websites and over 70% also sell ancillary services. Within three years this is forecast to increase to over 90%.
Horizon E-Commerce is used by more than 30 airlines worldwide and with the newly updated sales and service portal they can now meet changing passenger demands. The updated portal works in real time to provide flexible searching and suggests relevant offers to passengers by continually monitoring their input into an airline’s website.
Passengers will be able to see the right fare at the right time and are able to purchase all their travel requirements in one place. They will also be able to shop not only by origin and destination but also by calendar, their desired experience, travel budget, or by using a map.
In addition, they can purchase all their travel requirements, including car hire, insurance and hotel reservation in one transaction. Horizon E-Commerce provides highly intuitive shopping, promotions and reservations features, using the ecommerce platform supplied by Datalex.
"Airlines must continually adapt to meet the changing demands of the tech-savvy consumer and need cutting-edge direct sales and services solutions," said Allison O’Neill, vice president passenger solutions at SITA.
"Horizon E-Commerce enables airlines to meet this demand and it will become the preferred internet direct distribution technology for airlines using SITA’s Horizon portfolio for passenger management," she continued.
"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). 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."