Tiger Airways is joining the likes of EasyJet in Europe and abandoning its previous direct channel-only model and will be available on the GDS via Travelport.
As well as allowing its fare and ancillary content to be distributed to Worldspan, Galileo and Apollo-connected agents, the Singapore-based low cost carrier will also be the first in airline Asia-Pacific to join the aggregated shopping element of the Travelport Merchandising Platform (launched in April this year).
Aggregated shopping allows agents to view within the same screen a list of results from traditional carriers who connect through ATPCO with fares from Tiger Airways and other low cost carriers who connect via an API.
In addition, optional services such as checked-in bags, pre-allocated seating and meals on the nine-year-old Tiger Airways will made available to agents via the Merchandising Platform.
Tiger Airways (which includes its four brands Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Mandala, Tigerair Philippines and Tigerair Australia) joins EasyJet, Norwegian, Transavia and Jet2 as other early partners on the aggregated shopping service.
Tiger's move comes the same week as Delta and Air New Zealand are announced as the first carriers to work with Travelport on the rich content and branding part of the Merchandising Platform.
The system works by giving airlines the ability to include additional information, content and branding about a service direct into an agent's desktop.
The idea is to provide agents with the same experience on their existing GDS platform as they would via a carrier's consumer-facing website, but also push ancillary services and other up-selling opportunities for airlines.
Content (images, etc), pricing and available ancillary services are loaded into the system by the carrier, then agents are able via a Windows-type screen to select and calculate products for the customer.
The system will be made available to agents by the end of 2013 on the Smartpoint platform, an upgrade of which is also due for release next week. Universal Desktop users will get the rich content and branding tools in early-2014.
Fergal Kelly, Travelport's vice president for travel merchandising and distribution, says the introduction of rich content and branding is another move towards creating an "multi-channel" approach for airlines across different platforms, rather than thinking previously around direct and non-direct ways to reach customers with their content.