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Travel & Travel Technology News.

Dec 18, 2006

Malaysia Airlines, SITA

Malaysia Airlines and SITA signed a 10-year deal to implement SITA's Horizon portfolio of passenger management solutions. MAS said it will invest MYR300 million ($82.1 million) and realize annual savings of MYR100 million. Dec 18, 2006

EU-US tension over PNR data sharing is rising again less than two months after the parties concluded an agreement for the processing and transfer of PNR data by air carriers to the Dept. of Homeland Security under the terms of which the US government committed to restrict the use of data to comply with European privacy laws. "The Council Presidency and Commission are contacting the US Government to request formal confirmation that the way EU PNR data are handled in the ATS [Automated Targeting System] is the one described in the undertakings," European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini told the European Parliament earlier this week. Dec 15, 2006

American Airlines

American Airlines invests $20 million to entertain business travelers. American plans to announce today a $20 million program to spiff up first-class cabins in its Boeing 767-200 fleet. The upgrades will include flat-screen televisions and personal entertainment devices to provide movies, TV, music and video games. Dec 13, 2006

G2 SwitchWorks, ITA

The Internet has enabled airlines and other suppliers to reach customers directly via their Web sites. Online travel agencies have developed direct connections with airlines. New companies such as G2 SwitchWorks and ITA Software have entered the distribution field. Dec 12, 2006

Galileo International, Worldspan

A Galileo-Worldspan combination has been rumored since 2001, shortly after Galileo itself was acquired by Cendant Corp. At the time, it was thought that the combination would not pass regulatory muster. But the scene has altered in the last five years, and the four major GDS companies -- Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and Worldspan -- no longer have a lock on how airline tickets are distributed. Dec 12, 2006

Galileo International, Worldspan

Galileo International, founded by a consortium of European airlines in 1987, and Apollo (then known as Covia) formed the Galileo Partnership in 1993, but they have remained discrete systems. It is not clear whether Travelport plans to integrate Worldspan into Apollo or Galileo. Some observers predict that Travelport will retain certain elements of Worldspan's technology but jettison the basic platform. Dec 12, 2006

Galileo International, Worldspan

Galileo International issues of branding and the transitioning of customers are all to be determined, Clarke said, and the integration planning team can't act on any integration until regulatory approval occurs. Travelport, the parent company of Galileo International, signed an agreement last week to acquire Worldspan for $1.4 billion. The deal has been approved by major shareholders of both companies but faces regulatory review in both the U.S. and the E.U. Dec 12, 2006

Galileo International, Worldspan

Galileo International's Clarke sees the potential for synergies to the tune of $50 million, which he called a conservative estimate. The companies' strengths are complementary, he said. Worldspan would bring its Rapid Reprice tools and new search capabilities to Travelport, and it is "second to none in servicing the online market," Clarke said. Galileo, on the other hand, is stronger in international markets, he said. Pending litigation between Worldspan and Travelport's Orbitz unit would be dropped, he said. "You'll have three very strong GDS companies of about the same size," Clarke said, "and there are significant alternatives where consumers can get information. If the Galileo International deal is approved, Travelport will face challenges in bringing yet another company under its wing. Since its own acquisition by the Blackstone Group, Travelport has again reorganized its collection of disparate companies, which include Orbitz, Gullivers Travel Associates, eBookers and Flairview Travel. Dec 12, 2006

Holiday travel

Holiday travel tips. It's worth it for holiday travelers to check flight histories when booking a flight, The Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. In general, flying earlier in the day may increase your chances for on-time arrival since weather problems and air-traffic congestion can worsen later in the day. Dec 12, 2006

Travelport, Worldspan

Travelport said easy-to-use airline websites are growing in usage and putting pressure on GDS providers. "Competition in the travel distribution industry has increased," the company said. Added Worldspan Chairman, President and CEO Rakesh Gangwal: "The combination of Travelport and Worldspan directly addresses industry trends and will provide a new standard of technology, high-quality content and world-class customer service." Dec 12, 2006

Xytrans

Florida company to refocus from wireless to security. Xytrans, a high-tech millimeter wave technology company that specializes in wireless communications, plans a new emphasis on ground-based security systems. The same waves that can carry sound signals can be used in highly sensitive sensors to detect concealed weapons and other contraband. Dec 12, 2006

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Dec 11, 2006
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Date:Dec 18, 2006
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