AXESS and Travelport to deliver enhanced agency desktop

AXESS International Network (AXESS), the leading Japanese global distribution system (GDS) owned by Japan Airlines (JAL), and Travelport, a global Travel Commerce Platform, providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the global travel industry, have today jointly announced they are on schedule to roll out a new, superior agency desktop in Japan. The upgraded agency desktop, which will be powered by Travelport, will be made available exclusively to AXESS-connected travel agents and will be known as AXESS CREA Advance. It will replace AXESS’ current CREA desktop.

The partnership between AXESS and Travelport was first announced in April 2012 when Travelport was selected as a technology partner on account of its alignment in strategic thinking with AXESS. Since then, the two organizations have been working in close collaboration to assess the needs of the region’s resurgent travel industry and have gone from strength to strength designing a new, enhanced Japanese GDS to meet the demands of Japanese travel agents and travelers.

The new AXESS desktop will be powered by Travelport Smartpoint, Travelport’s award-winning point of sale technology. Travelport Smartpoint offers extensive air, hotel and car content as well as a broad range of user-friendly merchandising features all designed to enhance the customer selling experience. Specifically, Travelport has received a number of industry accolades over the past year for its pioneering air merchandising solutions, including Travelport Rich Content and Branding, which allows airlines to display and promote their entire product range, including their ancillary products and fare families, in exactly the same way as they do on their own websites. Travelport also offers an unrivalled B2B hotel inventory of over 650,000 hotel properties as well as a pioneering B2B payments solution offered through its payments partner, eNett. Once migrated onto the new desktop, AXESS CREA Advance-connected agents will immediately benefit from the additional content and technology.

In addition to delivering a new agency desktop, AXESS has also partnered with Travelport to launch a new business travel management solution, powered by Locomote technology, to meet the needs of the Japanese business traveller. Locomote is a smart technology platform that gives companies complete control and visibility of their corporate travel, making travel management easier and more efficient and giving Japanese companies access to the business travel management platform, on any device, anywhere in the world.

The overall AXESS GDS platform will continue to be hosted as part of Travelport’s state-of-the-art technology infrastructure in its Atlanta (US) data center.

Seiji Soekawa, President and CEO for AXESS, said:
We are delighted to announce the delivery of our new AXESS desktop as well as our new corporate booking tool designed specifically for the Japanese business traveller. AXESS understands that the travel industry business is a dynamic one and continues to change, and, as part of our technology partnership with Travelport, we are well place to evolve our offering to Japanese agents, ensuring they have the very best content and tools to empower them to offer superior customer service.

It has always been our motto to be Japan’s best GDS partner. Mark Meehan, President and Managing Director for Travelport Asia Pacific, added:  
"Launching a new agency desktop for AXESS with all of the benefits it offers Japan’s travel trade, represents a great milestone in the technology partnership between AXESS and Travelport and opens the pathways for further opportunities in the future. Travelport prides itself in having the most balanced footprint globally. This partnership combines the best in international travel content with the most in-depth knowledge of the Japanese travel trade into one powerful platform. ”

AXESS-connected travel agents will migrate to the new AXESS point of sale solution in a phased manner, following a period of customer testing and training, with completion scheduled for 2017. During this period, the AXESS and Travelport teams will be working hand in hand with travel agents to ensure a smooth transition with heightened training and customer service resources on the ground.

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