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SolarNet wins European air consolidator business through reseller agreement

Matel Data Systems and SolarNet<.> announced the signing of the initial contracts resulting from their reseller agreement…

Matel Data Systems and SolarNet<.> announced the signing of the initial contracts resulting from their reseller agreement announced February 13, 2002.



The initial contracts are with four of Matel's European Air Consolidator customers, who currently use Matel's Faresbureau database and want to market their extensive inventory of continental Europe fares to retail travel agents worldwide, with a particular emphasis on the North American market.



The European consolidators contracted thus far are: Global Travel Services of Stockholm, who specialize in fares to Asia and Australasia; and Air Travel Guide, Crystal Travel and ETS World, all from London, who offer worldwide destinations from every major UK airport.



Beck Harridge, Managing Director of ETS World, stated, "We are very excited about the Matel /SolarNet association as it will give us worldwide GDS distribution and enable us to increase bookings from overseas travel agents. SolarNet's electronic booking service will save us the time and cost associated with telephone orders when agents want to book."



Europe, and the UK in particular, are well known for the availability of heavily discounted continental Europe airfares, which are currently unavailable to North American retail travel agents. North American agents refer to these discounted continental Europe fares as "add-on fares" because they originate from Europe. Through SolarNet's unique connectivity to all major GDS networks and the Internet, North American agents will now have access to European add-on fares to: check seat availability; view fare rules; complete a booking; and receive a confirmation. The ability to view and book European add-on fares offers a North American agent, and in turn the North American consumer, unprecedented flexibility and affordability in making European travel plans.



According to Wiep Burghgraef, industry veteran and Owner/Manager of Incentive Travel, "This brings a whole new service dimension to my European and international business! My agents and our clients have long been aware of the deeply discounted fares and travel products within the highly concentrated European marketplace; access to which has always been frustratingly unavailable. Now, through Solarnet, an incredible amount of product depth and variety has been added for North American travel agents to create highly competitive and flexible travel plans for their clients."



Matel will charge its clients a service fee on every travel agent transaction generated through SolarNet, and SolarNet will share in all revenues. The first European consolidator is anticipated to be live on SolarNet in late March, upon completion of the SolarNet/Matel Faresbureau application protocol interface.

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