Travelport, the business services provider to the global travel industry, has outlined its plans to provide a direct service to Galileo-connected travel agencies in Greece and Cyprus following the expiry of its distribution agreement with Galileo Hellas at the end of the year. The GDS provider took the decision not to renew its current third party distribution agreement as part of its ongoing strategy to invest in the region and grow its direct operations.
Travelport has been running a successful direct Worldspan operation for travel agencies in Greece since 1992, and, as a result of this investment decision, Travelport plans to also provide the same direct service and support to all Galileo-connected travel agencies.
The new combined Galileo and Worldspan entity, which will continue to offer travel agencies in the region the choice of subscribing to either GDS platform, is to be known as Travelport Hellas. Headquartered in Athens, it will be headed up by Leo Zotos, a GDS veteran who has led the Worldspan Greece team for the last 18 years and has over 20 years experience in the GDS sector.
Travelport is currently in the process of expanding the local customer-facing team based in the region as well as investing in extensive new customer services and support including a dedicated regional helpdesk.
“We’d like to extend our thanks to the Galileo Hellas team for their hard work over the past 20 years,” commented Jason Clarke, president and managing director for Travelport in Europe and Brazil.
“We now feel the time is right to extend our Travelport operations in the region and provide Galileo-connected travel agents in Greece and Cyprus with the same direct distribution relationship that we provide to our Worldspan subscribers. This impending change to our business model will enable us to work directly with all our local customers in the region to roll out relevant new GDS services and technology. This long-term investment decision also builds on the direct distribution network we have already successfully established across much of Europe and our wider worldwide network over the past two decades.”
Yannis Sakellion, chief executive officer of Galileo Hellas added, “I would like to thank the travel trade in both Greece and Cyprus for its trust and co-operation over the past 20 years and wish all those we have worked with much success for the future.”
Both Travelport and Galileo Hellas confirmed they were committed to working closely together over the coming months to ensure a seamless transition to the new structure.