Travel tech firms should welcome the open approach of the GDSs and concentrate their efforts on co-operation not competition.
Mystifly is about to launch its first Sabre Red App, xClusive, at Sabre’s TTX in Miami this week. This app integrates our airline content – including a number of low cost carriers not currently available in Sabre – directly into the Sabre Red GDS screen for agents and travel managers to compare with Sabre content.
So our xClusive Red App allows Sabre agents to sell inventory that previously would not have had access to. For our airline partners it gives them access to markets they would not have been able to reach on their own.
And because we connect with the airline’s booking engines via an API, there are no distribution costs for the carrier.
The bookings are fulfilled by the airline and we have built a connection which means the invoicing is shared with the agent’s GDS-based workflow.
We look at the airline industry, particularly in our core Asia-Pacific region, and see that a lot of airlines are shying away from distribution via the GDSs for different reasons.
It appears as if one of the reasons the GDSs are opening up their platforms is that they are interested in collaborating with third parties in order to concentrate on their core strength, which we consider to be the truly global range of their distribution networks.
For independent travel tech companies like us, this new open attitude is an opportunity to collaborate with the GDSs. Sabre is the first we have worked with but we are also exploring ways to collaborate in a similar way with Travelport and Amadeus.
We have been working with Sabre for some time on various products and prototypes. We are planning to launch a range of xClusive Red Apps and will be focussing our efforts on trying to fill the gaps in what Sabre can offer.
We believe that the scale of their distribution networks is the core benefit that the GDSs bring to the market. And their openness in allowing verified third parties access to that network is a win-win for suppliers such as airlines, agents and tech firms, not forgetting the travellers themselves.
Mystifly and other travel tech firms should embrace every opportunity to work in partnership with GDSs. There is no need to stop developing standalone products which we market independently but it is always worth keeping an eye on how these innovations can connect with the GDSs – technically, operationally, commercially.