Thursday, November 01, 2007

Travolution Autumn Conf: Can easyJet learn to love third-party distributors?

EasyJet distribution development manager Jerry Dunn talked at length about the uneasy relationship between the airline, which likes to sell direct, and other distribution channels - meta search sites, OTAs and so forth.

Currently these players are using screen-scraping technology to get hold of easyJet's fares, a method which Jerry describes as 'not robust'. But, of course, it drives sales.

So what's an airline to do?

Well, you develop an API to give the brand more control over what fares are presented and how. And easyJet is doing just that. But only for the corporate travel market, which it has historically had trouble capturing.

The API should be available to selected third parties at the beginning of next year.

Tackled by Travelsupermarket's Chris Nixon on whether easyJet can work closer with alternative distributors in the leisure market, Jerry waxes positive: "I do think there is more we can do". It looks like the door is far from closed...

Nathan Midgley

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