It's been more than two years in the making -- and something Travelport CEO Greg Webb has talked about repeatedly since joining the company in August 2019 -- and today Travelport is officially launching a new platform, Travelport+, as a single environment to replace its three legacy systems, Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan.
As distribution and retailing have evolved and improved over the years, Webb said it has become inefficient and inadequate to retrofit old systems to serve the travel industry's needs.
"The systems of the past were all built around the original requirements ... that were created for airlines specifically. And certainly travel retailing has gone beyond airlines at this point, yet some of the underlying data structures are really still tied in what was called the PNR -- passenger name record," Webb said.
"Our goal is to be the best multi-source content aggregator in the world. Part of doing that is changing the way that we think about that underlying data structure."
A key part of the new platform, said Webb, is a "trip container" that will house the travel trip record in an open system enabling more efficient management of the individual components of the journey. The system includes a broad range of air, car, hotel and rail content, with simplified connections "regardless of the source, the seller and how it's consumed."
"So we can handle the blossoming retail structure of travel ... making that simple even though it's complex on the back end," he says.
Travelport+ also has updated airline ticket exchange tools, a microservices API layer and a cloud-based point-of-sale solution.
"Embedded intelligence will enable both travel retailers and suppliers to continually optimize their offers, as well as their pricing and merchandising strategies," according to a Travelport statement.
Webb said the platform is intended to deliver value to all parts of the industry.
"This is a multi-year investment in us trying to raise the bar in terms of how we provide more flexibility, more retail capability, and ... trying to make sure we are driving more value per ticket ... or per hotel room booked to suppliers. And making sure that consumers are ultimately getting more value for every dollar that they spend," he said.
The functions of Travelport+ are gradually rolling out globally, with more than 80% of the company's customers already operating on the 1G designator -- the former Galileo designator that is being used for the new system -- and more than 10% of the remaining clients integrated.
"We are already more agile than our competitors," Webb said.
"This just adds to that. It makes us more responsive, more agile, more flexible."