Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Very unofficial Worldspan-Travelport deadline passes

Following the gossip trail over the last few days on the alleged Travelport-Worldspan merger has been fascinating.

And there really is nothing like consolidation in the industry to get tongues wagging.

Our first mention came on Sunday, but as soon as Monday arrived to say the rumour mill was red hot would be an understatement.

What also put us in a wee bit of a dilemma was knowing that our cover story for the December edition would be rather out of date by the time it comes out (Friday 15th, sign up for a copy here), if the four GDSs suddenly became three.

Cue frantic calls around the industry. Our reporter colleagues in the US have also heard very strong rumours about a takeover by Travelport, owner of the Gailileo GDS.

A pretty good senior source at one of the parties in question told us on Monday that an announcement was due in the next 24 hours.

Indeed, the date most people seemed to be looking towards was yesterday (Tuesday 5th), but as we finally closed the issue last night, the PRs were still giving us ever so slightly nervous and over-jovial responses along the lines of “it’s only industry gossip - ha ha ha!”.

A recent message left in the comments section of Sunday’s post suggested a scheduled employee announcement for Monday PM at one of the two companies was cancelled [post was anonymous].

As Tim Hughes on The BOOT in Australia pointed out, hits to his blog have gone through the roof, mainly from Google referrals on the keywords “Travelport Worldspan rumour”, etc, etc.

I can reveal that we have experienced a similar and hefty surge in traffic [not a record day, yesterday, but pretty close]. There are clearly plenty of people of out there looking for more information.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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