etravel  e-tourism newsletter
Issue 2001-7 - Thursday, April 19, 2001

emarket news
e-market strategies
enewsletter sign up free Delta takes hold of the small business travellers' segment. Delta takes hold of the small business travellers' segment

Niches in the e-Tourism sector still have a future: college and universities happen to be Galileo and e-travco's new targets.

Pilots now count on the "Cyber" effect to better manage their claims and strikes.


Delta estimates that 22% of its ticket sales will emanate from the Web in 2001, either via its own Web sites or via those of online travel agencies such as Travelocity, Expedia or even Orbitz which should start operating as early as next June as the American authorities just gave the site the green light.

Let me remind you that Delta expects its online ticket sales to reach $1.4 billion this year, as its online ticket sales averaged $3 million a day in the last month…

Internet has undoubtedly become a major element in the development strategy used by the airline company.

By launching a Web site dedicated to small businesses with 5-50 travellers and less than $500.000 on annual airfare, Delta tackles a market that had been rather neglected up to now and might well be one of the most significant markets for the company itself.



Indeed, according to Delta, this travel segment would represent 25 to 35% of its turnover. woishes to become a one-stop online travel solution for every business traveller but also for the person in charge of the travel policy within each small and medium-sized firm with a few administrative tools at its disposal. also represents a novelty for Delta as it will be the first time that products offered by other airline companies will be displayed on a Web site that belongs to Delta and proposed to its visitors.

We can tone this down a bit with a rather amusing element regarding the battle started by Northwest Airlines when it decided to cut down the commissions it paid to online travel agencies (see article eTourism); Delta will retain the right to charge a five per cent commission (limited to $10) for each online plane ticket booked at a competitive Web site via its Web site

Delta did not specify if Northwest Airlines was among the sites that would have to pay such commission.

Technically speaking, uses Worldspan's services to book plane tickets from other airlines but also to book a car or make a hotel reservation. This choice will also allow Delta to establish direct links between its own products and the ones available on other Web sites such as Travelocity or Expedia.

Delta confirms here its desire to increase its online presence but also its desire to reduce its distribution costs as much as possible by eliminating commissions paid to online and offline travel agencies and by resorting less and less to the services provided by the GDSs.

Over the year 2000 (fiscal year ending June 30, 2000), Delta managed to save $20 million thanks to the Internet.

Delta announced that it expects to save $45 million in calendar year 2001 by reducing its distribution costs.

During the period of economic slowdown we're going through, these figures might well incite airline companies and other producers in the Tourism sector to quicken their online presence…

Source : MYOBTravel
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   Niches in the e-Tourism sector still have a future: college and universities happen to be Galileo and e-travco's new targets.  

The GDS Galileo International and e-travco just announced they are launching a new generation of travel portals specifically customized to colleges and universities.

The idea is to offer this specific customer segment personalised Web sites for each of the colleges that are part of this offer and through which pupils and teachers will be able to get information, but will also manage to make a reservation: flights, hotels, car rentals and other packages.

The technological solution is called "Travelports" and it will use both Galileo and e-travco knowledge in order to customize these eTourism portals to the specific needs of each customer establishment.

The colleges' local special features will be taken into account and they plan to associate local travel agents to each of these Travelports portals in order to integrate both advice and content.

This is how e-travco and Galileo plan to open over 200 Travelports in the US and Canada by the end of 2002 before they continue their development in the UK in 2003.

This "Niche" approach is very interesting and shows that many markets, which are not always insignificant, can still be invested online in the eTourism sector.

Of course, the ambition of these Travelports, which already appear on the site, requires specific technical means. For this reason, the alliance between e-travco and Galileo seems particularly judicious to me.

This is a win-win situation for both partners and it will also create a new and real service for the customers: everybody should benefit from this.

Sources : e-travco -

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    Pilots now count on the "Cyber" effect to better manage their claims and strikes.  

Once more, the technological innovation comes from Delta Airlines but this time the company might well get more problems than benefits.

Indeed, Delta's pilots just finalised the "Cyber Strike" via their main union - Airline Pilots Association - for the potential strike that is expected to take place on April 29.

Their powerful union just opened 9 strike centres totally computerized to manage their next strike. Cost of the operation: $10 million!

The idea is rather simple: all the pilots belonging to the Airline Pilots Association provided their strike centre with some basic information (personal address, phone numbers…) but they also communicated their work schedules and hotels they would stay at throughout the world.

From then on, should a strike take place, the 10.000 Delta pilots would be updated in real time by phone or by e-mail. What's more, pilots can either connect themselves to a specific Web site or call a toll-free line that is put at their disposal.

Part of the system relies on the pilots' personal involvement since, for instance in the Salt Lake City strike centre alone, 45 pilots and their spouses are at the other pilots' disposal to answer their phone calls and manage the centre.

In anticipation of the general strike that should take place on April 29, the crisis centre will be open 24 hours a day as soon as April 25.

The alliance of telephony, computer and Internet made it possible to create a new form of strikes' management.

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