LANGLEY, England, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelport, the business services provider to the global travel industry, today announces that Flight Centre Limited ("FLT"), Australasia's best known travel agency group with more than 2,000 shops and businesses in 11 countries, has commenced updating the desktop tools available to Flight Centre's travel consultants with the launch of Travelport Universal Desktop™ in Queensland in August, following successful pilot programs in key markets around the world. A broader rollout will include the rest of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, then extending to the remainder of the global Flight Centre network.
Travelport Universal Desktop will enhance FLT's ability to access and sell airfares and other travel content globally and will provide travel consultants with a faster and simpler research and booking tool, thereby strengthening their relationship with their customers.
According to Graham Turner, managing director, Flight Centre, "Flight Centre Limited has enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship with Travelport over the past 25 and more years. The latest iteration of that relationship is the launch of Universal Desktop to our agents around the world, which is one of our key business strategies globally. We are proud to be first to market with a tool that will dynamically reshape how travel is booked at our agency, and greatly redefine the overall retail experience for our customers."
"Travelport Universal Desktop doesn't simply add a graphical layer to an existing GDS. The entire application has been designed to take travel agents into the next era of travel agency technology and we're very excited to be partnering with Travelport in this initiative," said Melanie Waters-Ryan, FLT's chief operating officer and global product leader. Feedback from our agents has been overwhelmingly positive and the Desktop's superior workflow control and content integration is helping our travel consultants work faster and smarter, which in turn saves time and improves productivity."
Added Waters-Ryan, "In particular, our new staff members are getting trained up quicker as the graphical user interface is more intuitive and easier to use, especially when it comes to round-the-world bookings now that they can build scenarios using Universal Desktop."
Travelport Universal Desktop is a ground-breaking application that enables agents to deliver the type and level of customer service travellers are demanding today, providing access to multisource travel content and pricing, plus break-through travel management tools – all through a single platform.
Through enhanced workflow control and content integration, agents will become more productive, business processes will become more efficient, training costs will shrink, and new revenue opportunities can be realized. Underpinned by a re-engineered architectural and technical infrastructure that includes Travelport Universal API™, Universal Profile and Universal Record, Travelport Universal Desktop is the flagship agency point of sale.
"Travelport's collaboration with Flight Centre to launch Travelport Universal Desktop is a big step forward in delivering the technology tools necessary for the future needs of all of our agency community like Flight Centre, irrespective of their size or orientation," said Gordon Wilson, CEO and president, Travelport. "Our two companies have grown together as Flight Centre has expanded its presence across the globe and we are truly delighted to deliver this ground-breaking application to them first and see it help them continue to succeed."
The Universal Desktop launch with Flight Centre builds on an extensive development partner program in place with customers globally and follows an exhaustive GDS usability study with travel agencies worldwide, which guided the development of Travelport Universal Desktop.
Travelport is also actively working with a number of beta customers across the globe to complete the next phase of validation and completion of in market testing prior to a broader rollout plan. During the coming months, Travelport will be working closely to support Flight Centre in its forthcoming rollout as well as ensuring beta customers are prepared for a wider market engagement.
For more information on Travelport Universal Desktop, click here: www.travelportuniversaldesktop.com.
For more information on Travelport Universal API, click here: www.travelportuniversalapi.com.
About Travelport (www.travelport.com)
Travelport is a broad-based business services company and a leading provider of critical transaction processing solutions to companies operating in the global travel industry.
With a presence in 160 countries, approximately 3,500 employees and reported 2010 revenues of $2.3 billion, Travelport is comprised of the global distribution system (GDS) business, which includes the Galileo and Worldspan brands and its Airline IT Solutions business, which hosts mission critical applications and provides business and data analysis solutions for major airlines.
Travelport also owns approximately 48% of Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW), a leading global online travel company. Travelport is a private company owned by The Blackstone Group, One Equity Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Travelport management.
Follow Travelport on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Travelport.
About Flight Centre Limited (www.flightcentre.com)
Flight Centre Limited is one of the world's largest and most successful travel agency groups. The company opened its first shop in Australia in 1981 and now has more than 2200 shops and businesses in 11 countries. Brands include the flagship Flight Centre leisure brand, Liberty Travel, Escape Travel, Student Flights, Cruiseabout, FCm Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.
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