Frustrated by its inability to process travel agency sales through IATA's billing and settlement plans, V Australia launched its own travel agent payment and settlement system. IATA barred the carrier from using the BSPs until it acquires its own operating certificate.
V Australia had sought to gain access to the system under parent carrier Virgin Blue's certificate. V Australia is slated to launch Sydney-Los Angeles service on Dec. 15. It has been selling tickets via direct channels since March. The new V Australia Settlement Plan, or VSP, was created in partnership with eNett International and in cooperation with the GDS companies. Melbourne, Australia-based e-Nett is a travel payment specialist founded in 2004. The company is owned by U.K.-based PSP International Plc.
VSP will enable travel agents in Australia and New Zealand to book and ticket V Australia flights from within the major GDSs and settle payments directly with the carrier. It will enable next-day visibility of ticket sales through a dedicated portal. Sales by travel agents in the U.S. are processed through the Airlines Reporting Corp., which does not bar V Australia's participation.
In a statement, Brett Godfrey, chief executive officer of Virgin Blue, said, "We had initially intended to work through IATA BSP, however as access was not available in the timeframe we required, we preferred to develop an independent solution."
According to eNett, the VSP solution facilitates credit card and cash settlement capabilities and offers additional collection and exchange functionality, including agency debit and credit memos and refund processing, with dynamic reporting of all V Australia payment activity at both an individual agency and travel agency group level.
VSP will be made available to all IATA and Travel Industry Designator Service travel agents in Australia and New Zealand.