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Virgin Blue ‘Api’ Is A First For Business Flyers & Travel Agents
Virgin Blue Airlines today introduced a new IT initiative enabling travel agencies and key accounts direct, real time booking integration with Virgin Blue’s reservations system.
The API (Application Program Interface) capability is unique to Virgin Blue and is part of the airline’s mission to increase its share of the business and Government travel markets.
The technology is specially designed to suit the needs of frequent flyers and was internally developed by Virgin Blue’s IT team.
General Manager Information Technology, Nick Brant, said “This is a major breakthrough for Virgin Blue. We can now offer streamlined, immediate access to our booking system to selected external parties. Already 40 travel agencies, corporates and other organisations have signed up to use our technology including Zuji, travel.com.au, lastminute.com.au, the Queensland Government and other prominent travel industry participants.”
He continued, “For the first time, these organisations can peruse and purchase Virgin Blue flights through their own systems, as well as check for information regarding flight schedule changes and billing.”
He added, “It’s all about making it easier and quicker for our Guests to choose and book Virgin Blue flights and the investment in this new technology is indicative of our increasing commitment to the business market and ongoing commitment to the travel trade”.
The API system allows Virgin Blue to stay true to its low cost business model and will provide a cost savings in reducing the number and cost of bookings originating from various GDS (Global Distribution Systems).
Nick Brant continued, “We recognise the need to make it as easy as possible for our corporate and travel agent customers to book with Virgin Blue. In the past, some companies have embraced our affordable fares, comprehensive route network and high service standards but have been frustrated by a lack of interoperability between systems. This API has bulldozed that block.”