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DRCT boosts virtual airline with senior aviation consultant appointment

Oleksandr Dzhydzhora will focus on driving the growth of Direct One following its first year of product development.

Mobility tech company DRCT is announcing the appointment of Oleksandr Dzhydzhora as an aviation consultant to accelerate the development of its virtual airline, Direct One.

Dzhydzhora will focus on driving the growth of Direct One following its first year of product development. Direct One is a virtual ‘neo-airline’, meaning it does not have a fleet of aircraft of its own. Instead, it accesses carrier inventory and uses AI-driven algorithms to analyse and identify unsold or undervalued airline seats and offer them to consumers through partner travel sellers. It also aims to build a solid infrastructure for the airlines to start selling flights without dealing with complicated and expensive airline IT.  

Prior to joining DRCT, Dzhydzhora held senior commercial roles at leading Ukrainian airlines including the position of Director of Sales at SkyUp Airlines, as well as Deputy Director of Sales at Ukraine International Airlines. He now retains his position as Commercial Director at Bees Airline and is consulting for DRCT while the Ukrainian airspace is closed. In 2020, Bees Airline chose DRCT as the exclusive strategic partner to launch its sales among the agent network in Ukraine. Prior to the war in Ukraine, Bees Airline sold 52% of the total number of tickets using DRCT; 95% of Bees Airline’s travel agent sales of tickets and ancillaries were through DRCT.

“Airline distribution is still hugely reliant on GDS which has resulted in seat pricing remaining ineffective and costly. The cost of distribution is among the top three expenses airlines face, alongside fuel and aircraft leasing or purchase. It is especially difficult for new airlines because the IT part is complex but critical to survival. With a neo-airline concept, however, it’s possible to access new markets without exorbitant costs, ensuring airlines are not limited to traditional distribution channels and can maximise their potential sales and profitability. I’m relishing the challenge of supporting DRCT in developing the Direct One proposition and ensuring that optimal offers can be served by the air carriers harnessing the very latest in AI technology,” says Dzhydzhora.

Viktor Nekrylov, Managing Partner at DRCT, says: “Oleksandr is a valuable and strong addition to the DRCT team, given his decades of aviation industry experience and exceptional track record of developing teams and applying commercial expertise to B2B and B2C distribution channels. He is perfectly placed to help us develop our Direct One proposition and ensure that we deliver products that solve distribution challenges, specifically for smaller airlines, ensuring they can access new markets without facing the prohibitive costs associated with GDS.”

DRCT has now launched sales of its neo-airline fares for European destinations with an undisclosed global OTA partner. In July 2022, DRCT announced that in the current phase of its tech development they were tailoring offers that were increasing their partner’s sales by 36%, in comparison to direct airline channels.

DRCT is already a recognised NDC aggregator trusted by over 30 airlines worldwide including Lufthansa Group, Emirates, and British Airways. The company is part of the Aviatech Investments holding company, a private equity fund investing in aviation technology start-ups. Over the last five years, Aviatech Investments incubated portfolio companies reached €90m in annual revenues.

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