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Airline looks for new partners to increase bookings

A Cambodia Angkor Air jet on the tarmac in 2009.
A Cambodia Angkor Air jet on the tarmac in 2009. Heng Chivoan

Airline looks for new partners to increase bookings

Cambodia's flagship carrier Cambodia Angkor Air plans to expand its partnerships with leading global distribution system (GDS) networks to improve its worldwide reservation and ticketing system, an airline executive said yesterday.

Eng Molina, deputy general manager of sales for Cambodia Angkor Air, said adding Sabre, Worldspan and Axess to its list of GDS partners would make the airline's booking system more accessible to travel agents.

“[In line with] the expansion of our sales network and route plan in the near future, Cambodia Angkor Air is considering expanding to more GDS partners to ease accessibility for our customers,” he said.

Cambodia Angkor Air has six GDS partners: Amadeus, Abacus, TravelSky, Topas, Infini and Galileo/Apollo. Molina said the addition of Sabre and Worldspan would facilitate bookings from the United States, while Axess would link more partners in the Japanese market.

“A GDS system is an immediate linking point between Cambodia Angkor Air and customers,” he said. “The expansion will make customer access easier and increase bookings.”

Hengky Adryanto, general manager at Cambodia Distribution System, a local distributor of Singapore-based Abacus International, said GDS can help airlines draw more passengers from foreign markets.

“Airlines connected to GDS do not need to worry about marketing as much because GDS can help to do the marketing on behalf of the airlines,” he said.

Adryanto explained that GDS provides an easy way to keep track of the exponential number of passengers of major airlines.

He said it is particularly beneficial for customers who have connecting flights on multiple airlines, as all of this information is gathered through the GDS and sent to the concerned travel agents and airlines.

Currently, more than 30 airlines that serve Cambodia have GDS partnerships. However, Cambodia Angkor Air is the only Cambodian-operated airline connected, according to travel specialist Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce.

“Some airlines have their own [in-house mainframe] system, but it is not well organised,” the general manager said.

“Airlines will benefit a lot [from GDS], as it is easier to control their seats, and a convenient way to [make sure] their internal management follows and obeys the IATA/ICAO law regulations.”

He added that Cambodia Angkor Air’s pending partnerships would increase the promotion and marketing of the airline.

This article was modified to make clearer the relationship between GDS, airlines and travel agents.

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