13 August 2008

Genesis, etc al - Bishins side of the story and implications.

You will need to register with Travel Weekly to read the whole piece. It is an interview between Nadine Godwin and Bruce Bishins the leading light of this ill fated agency based GDS solution

Sidestepping any of the real issues - he blames Atraxis (SwissAir's reservation system) and various other sundry sources for the demise of Genesis.

I will add little to my previous blog on this subject. I think it was a bad idea and badly executed in a time when the idea had no merit. The number of ARC registered locations fell from the peak in 1996 of over 50,000 to under 20,000. That should be a real cause for concern for the business. But I guess in his new role Bishins doesn't want to discuss that.

One point he raises - a pet peeve of mine - is the issue of GDS caching. This is one of the dirty little secrets we all realize but don't want to admit. IE that the real issue is that there is no ubiquity of inventory. For hotels a common inventory image is a goal but not possible - for airlines it is a statement of fact but in reality the statement is a lie. The cover all for this is the PCA - Participating Carrier Agreement - which allows the GDS to guarantee a segment on a carrier. PCSs do not extend out in any great number to resellers - but if/when it does then the GDS model is really toast.

As for Atraxis, many of the original customers stayed with EDS. It is only in the last 2 years that they have started to migrate away due to the lack of investment by the (soon to be division of HP) EDS. One player who has taken Atraxis to a new level is Emirates so I doubt that this is an issue of the core technology.

My last word on this - Travelport has announced a significant drop in GDS segments for 1H 2008. Down 9% already. For August the numbers are tumbling rapidly. This doesn't take into consideration the massive cuts planned for September.

The GDS model is finally biting the dust.Chaps you still have some time to fix it by embracing new models and technologies. Sadly I don't see this happening in a resource constrained environment when the Private Equity owners of the GDS businesses are not going to be too keen to do that.

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