Travelsky Technology Ltd., a unit of China Travelsky Holding Co. and the largest electronic air travel distribution system provider in China, signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with American Express that designates Travelsky as the sole GDS service provider for American Express in mainland China for three years.
Travelsky currently is the only GDS provider in China, but it is expected that other GDSs will enter the market. China has committed to opening its markets to new competition to fulfill its membership requirements in the World Trade Organization.
American Express Business Travel also launched a new corporate online solution that it said is the first designed specifically to address the needs of the Chinese market. It said the new tool will benefit both multinational corporations operating in China and local Chinese companies.
American Express said it will provide comprehensive online adoption support to companies using American Express Online. Travelsky will lend support to American Express in the areas of service, equipment, technology, product and other aspects of the Chinese travel market. Meanwhile, China Travelsky Ltd., an air information technology service provider jointly founded by Chinas commercial airlines and China Travelsky Holding Co., signed an agreement to be IATAs Chinese partner in its Simplifying the Business initiative, which seeks to bring efficiencies to the global airline industry through the development of technological standards.
The first area of focus in China will be electronic ticketing. IATAs goal is to move the industry to 100% electronic ticketing by the end of 2007, with a target of 40% by the end of 2005 and 70% by the end of 2006.
Other measures envisioned in the initiative include common-use self-service kiosks, bar code standards for boarding passes and radio frequency identification for baggage handling.