Sirena-Travel, Russia’s largest domestic global distribution system (GDS), and Travelport jointly announced the signing of a strategic partnership which includes the immediate creation of Sirena-Travel International, powered by Travelport. The two firms will work together to enhance the current international travel booking process in Russia and create more efficient distribution for airlines.
Through Sirena-Travel International, Russian travel agents using one of Sirena’s 16,000 booking terminals to book domestic flights, will be able to sell global air content negotiated and distributed by Travelport via their existing terminals.
Significantly, it is estimated that the new link to international content will provide more than 40 percent of Sirena-Travel’s connected agents with the ability to book international flights for the first time. Other domestic-focused Sirena-Travel users, already selling international flights as an add-on service through separate terminals, will no longer have the additional costs associated with running separate domestic and international GDS platforms.
The new Sirena-Travel International system offers comprehensive booking capabilities, including interlining, electronic ticketing, reporting and payment – all in a familiar booking environment. Minimal user training is required as the international air content is integrated into the agent’s everyday workflow processes and all desktop tools and commands remain in Cyrillic.
For international airlines working with Travelport, operator of both the Galileo and Worldspan GDS platforms, the new Sirena-Travel/Travelport tie-up gives them deeper distribution throughout Russia via Sirena-Travel’s large network of travel agencies spanning 7,000 locations across the country. Included in this network are numerous small, regional, travel businesses which have previously been unable to sell international flights.
Travelport and Sirena-Travel confirmed that two major international carriers had already signed up to make their full published fares and inventory available in the new solution. Other airlines have also indicated a strong interest in participation, recognizing the value of deepening their distribution in Europe’s fastest growing travel region where GDS bookings continue to grow yearly by around 20 percent, Travelport says. Travelport is now working through a list of priority international carriers in order to integrate their content into Sirena-Travel International in time for the full industry launch to Russian travel agents this autumn.