ORLANDO — Ensemble Travel Group announced Sunday that it plans to launch a global air ticketing program dubbed "Aviate." The announcement came during the first day of the consortium's annual conference at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate here.

Libbie Rice and Lindsay Pearlman, Ensemble's co-presidents, made the announcement to more than 900 members, supplier partners and guests during their keynote speech.

Rice called Aviate "a global air ticketing platform unlike anything that's in the marketplace."

According to Pearlman, the ticketing platform was originally designed for Ensemble members in Australia and New Zealand.

"But as the air platform evolved, it became clear that it had far greater reach than just Australia and New Zealand," he said. "Much greater."

Rice described five agency air booking platform "must-haves," all of which Aviate offers: it is user-friendly to both GDS and non-GDS users, and supports non-GDS users; it offers agency control of the PNR, and integrates it with the agency's GDS; it has the ability to house the agency's air agreements outside of Ensemble's; it has maximized commission on published fares, and enables access to more net fares; and it offers a time savings, with only four clicks to create a PNR.

"Bottom line: Aviate can be a game-changer for your business," Rice said.

Pearlman added, "Aviate is the most recent example of how Ensemble is helping you compete in the new world."

In a statement, Ensemble's senior director of air and travel solutions, Brian Chapin, said the company had several airline partners and members demo Aviate, and "the response has been overwhelmingly positive."

Another announcement came alongside that of Aviate: Ensemble has a new air partner in addition to the 26 it already has -- WestJet.

According to Ensemble, this will give members lift options to nearly 100 destinations across the WestJet network in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as seasonal flights to Dublin and Glasgow, Scotland.
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI