Air Canada and Cendant Corp.'s Galileo today announced a four-year amendment to their existing distribution agreement that provides access to all published fares, including one-way Web fares, for travel agencies using the Galileo global distribution system. In exchange, the airline receives reduced GDS booking fees. The deal will go into effect tomorrow.
"The agreement underscores the fact that the GDS remains the most efficient distribution tool for professional travel agencies," said Ken Esterow, executive vice president of supplier services at Cendant Travel Distribution Services.
The deal follows changes in Canadian regulations that provide airlines and GDS operators more flexibility. It also follows Air Canada's aggressive efforts to divert bookings to its Web site--the lowest-cost distribution channel--and a similar agreement finalized earlier this year between Air Canada and Sabre, North America's largest GDS (BTN, June 21)
Sabre-connected travel agencies were asked to opt into the program and accept a 50-cent (68-cent Canadian) reduction in segment incentive payments. Air Canada today said Galileo subscribers for 90 days will not face added costs or opt-in requirements.
Air Canada has said it also is seeking content-for-discount deals with Amadeus and Worldspan.