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Kai Hannemann Consolidation of the air product distribution is the future

Mr Kai Hannemann, Co-founder and Managing Director of Partners Software analyzes in TravelDailyNews his company’s new developments as well as the future of the travel technology industry.

TravelDailyNews: What are your expectations from the agreement with Thomas Cook?

Kai Hannemann: We expect to be continuously challenged by the complex and fragmented air product distribution landscape. In meeting the needs for a client of this scale, we will constantly grow our system`s abilities to provide Thomas Cook with the solutions they require.

TDN: How your technology will facilitate the operations of the tour operator?

K. H.: Our technology provides a platform that is unparalleled in granting access to air fares from various sources via one single channel. We include GDS-, net-, charter- and web-links to airlines. By giving Thomas Cook product managers the ability to work with all air content sources, they can tailor their products exactly to the market needs.

TDN: Recently you have been selected to provide the LOW.FARE technology to The Appointment Group. What are the key parts of the agreement? Are you gaining momentum in UK market?

K. H.: The Appointment Group selected Partners’ due to the outstanding functionality of its software. LOW.FARE allows the Appointment Group to search for the most cost effective fares on the web and book them. Partners Software offer non-GDS content of over 95 airlines combined with the integration into the Travel Management Company`s GDS desktop. For Partners Software this is an important strategic development as we continue to broaden our customer base in the UK in order to achieve our goal of becoming the leading provider of air booking solutions.

TDN: Is there a growing demand for integrated low-cost fares from the tourism industry and why is that?

K. H.: The times of a single channel air product distribution via GDS are over. More and more companies operating in the tourist industry are faced with having to work with a multitude of systems like GDS, charter and web in parallel. We consolidate this information on to one system which creates an efficient channel to access all of these sources.

TDN: How would you characterize the existent on-line fare systems offered by the industry today especially in the aviation sector?

K. H.: We think that there is a way to go before the current systems offer the functionality that effectively service today’s market place.

TDN: Is your system a supplement to the existing GDSs or is it something more?

K. H.: Today’s air fare distribution market is fragmented. The GDS still contribute a very important aggregation element. Going forward, the tourism industry will need to invest in their own IT systems and as a result the GDS will become one part of a bigger picture.

TDN: What are the future plans of the company? Are you going to introduce this concept to other parts of the tourism & travel industry and to other regions too?

K. H.: We currently have clients in over 30 countries and we intend to continue our expansion with a particular focus on the UK. For the time being, we will stick to air.