Travelport, the business services provider to the global travel industry, today announces that it has concluded an agreement with South African Airways (SAA) to acquire Galileo Southern Africa, the GDS distribution arm which the airline has been operating in the region for the past 20 years.
Two years ago, Travelport set up a direct Worldspan operation for travel agents in South Africa and the acquisition of the Galileo GDS business marks the continuation of its investment in the region and plans to extend the products and services provided to local travel agents. The new, combined entity will be known as Travelport Southern Africa.
As part of the agreement, a new five-year full content agreement has also been signed and will provide all Travelport-connected travel agents with full access to SAA’s full published fares and inventory as well as guaranteeing functionality parity with all other distribution channels.
“We’d like to extend our thanks to SAA and the Galileo Southern Africa team for their hard work over almost two decades,” commented Mark Meehan, Managing Director for Travelport Africa.
“We now feel the time is right to extend our Travelport operations in the region and provide Galileo-connected travel agents in Southern Africa with the same direct distribution relationship that we provide to our Worldspan subscribers. This 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 is also a long-term investment decision and builds on the recently-expanded distributor network we have established across much of Africa, with Johannesburg as a key regional hub.”
Theunis Potgieter, General Manager of Commercial at SAA, added, “I would like to thank the travel trade in Southern Africa for its invaluable support over the last 20 years and wish all those we have worked with much success for the future. As we focus on our airline operations, we will continue to work closely with Travelport as a valued partner to distribute our airfares to the global travel industry. SAA will also continue to maintain very close relations with the travel trade in Southern Africa. The airline wishes to thank its staff at Galileo for their hard work and support while SAA operated Galileo Southern Africa.”