Travel distribution news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - March 2013NewsBy PhocusWire | March 28, 2013Share This article was originally published on Product news, releases, projects, related analysis and more from the global distribution systems during March 2013 - all here, in one easy read.More recent updates first:Thursday 28 March 2013:Sabre unveils SNCF app for agents. The Sabre Rail SNCF tool will be available in the Red App Centre from April 1 and allows agents to search and book all SNCF products in a single system. Fares and seat availability are included as well as being able to filter results by passenger type or product. Passenger data from the SNCF frequent traveller programme can be integrated into the system.Holiday Genie and Travelport agree IT partnership. As part of the long-term deal, leisure travel agency Holiday Genie will migrate to the Universal API for services alongside using a number of search and e-pricing tools from Travelport.In online travel booking, mobile isn’t all mobileWednesday 27 March 2013:Amadeus finalises Hong Kong agency integration. Travel Expert operates 60 retail agencies in the Hong Kong region and will use a number of Amadues agency tools including its point-of-sale system, All Fares airline booking service, Quality Control and the OneClick emergency contact system.Voice activated flight search portends of tech-to-comeTuesday 26 March 2013:Travelport releases initial results from refinancing plan. "Minimum conditions" on the exchange offers and consent solicitations contained in the plan have been met, Travelport says. Around 90% of the 2013 senior notes have been received as it looks to reach the 95% minimum participation level. An extension to Wednesday 27 March for completion has been set. Full details.Fully fared: Rome2rio announces new point-to-point pricing featureNew horizon – why two different worlds must collide when running a hotelMonday 25 March 2013:Travelport extends trio of agency partnerships in Saudi Arabia. Asfar Travel (5 years), Transcontinents and Roibek Travel (both three years) have all renewed their IT agreements with Travelport. The contracts follow Travelport's recent signing of Al Tayyar Travel Group in Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest agencies in the country.THack Sydney – Travel problems to be solved and new APIs addedVisa data shows a steady stream of global travel spend in 2012IATA fails in bid to have sealed court documents opened from Sabre-American Airlines casePriceline signs up for United’s Farelogix-supported solutionThursday 21 March 2013:Sabre appoints new chief product and technology officer. Deborah Kerr joins the company from Fair Isaac (where she was executive vice president technology officer) and has previously held positions with HP, Peregrine Systems and NASA.Travelport launches Smartpoint app on the Worldspan Go desktop. The service includes an interactive calendar, queuing system for agent workflow and multiple search functionality.Sabre brings in new chief financial officer, IPO dial goes up another notchWednesday 20 March 2013:Travelport and Aegean Airlines agree merchandising deal for agents. Travelport-connected customers will be able to secure ancillary services on the carrier from April 2013, fulfilled through an EMD (Electronic Miscellaneous Document).Sabre and All Nippon Airlines unite for reservation technology services. The Japanese carrier will use the Sabre Qik tool to bring in a new graphical interface to its reservation system, joining the likes of British Airways, Copa Airlines and EVA Air which also use the same service.A quarter of US mobile users buy travel products [INFOGRAPHIC]Tuesday 19 March 2013:Travelport agrees content deal with China Eastern Airlines. The multi-year partnership also includes Shanghai Airlines, giving Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo-connected agents access to the pair's web fares and published inventories. The two carriers will also integrate Travelpoirt IT services such as its Online Check-in and ViewTrip tools.Ignore the headlines, (some) offline travel agencies can ride alongside the information superhighwayGoogle Flight Search (finally) goes internationalMonday 18 March 2013:Travelport signs technology agreement with Gray Dawes. The multi-year partnership sees the UK-based business travel agency enlist the help of the Universal Desktop for its product interface for agents, as well as use of other services provided by Travelport.Saturday 16 march 2013:Travelport and Alitalia complete ancillary services roll-out. Distribution of bags, lounge access and insurance can now be integrated and completed through electronic miscellaneous documents (EMD) when agents book with the carrier on the Travelport GDS.Friday 15 March 2013:Travelport agrees new distributor platform in Tunisia. The latest expansion on the African continent by Travelport comes after the appointment of SIR Tunisie SARL as its distribution partner in the country, giving Galileo products and related services to agents for search and booking travel.Amadeus signs distribution agreement with China Airlines Group. The long-term deal sees the carrier's fares, availability and functionality made available to Amadeus-connected agents within Asia as other agent channels. Elsewhere, both China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines have guaranteed similar services will be available at the same levels as their existing websites and call centres.Sabre unveils Air Extras tool or Sabre Explore. The service will be available to agents in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region, allowing them to price and secure ancillary services through the existing Sabre Explore booking engine.Wednesday 13 March 2013:Amadeus and Ural Airlines complete technology migration. The Russian carrier is usingh the ALTEA system to manage various IT functions including the Departure Control automated check-in systems. The agreement was originally signed in 2012 with a view to integrating various platforms by 2013.Travelport and American Airlines kiss and make up, litigation over and distribution deal returnsTravelport reveals details on its refinancing with bondholders and its 2012 earningsTravelport full-year 2012 results – at-a-glance summarySoftware-as-a-Service (SaaS) – growing, but leagues behind packaged tools [INFOGRAPHIC]Monday 11 March 2013:Sabre agrees ancillary product deal with Aegean Airlines. The multi-year extension to the pair's distribution contract will see agents connected to Sabre given access to pre-paid baggage options. Air New Zealand, Aliltalia, Finnair and US Airways have similar agreements with Sabre.Amadeus unveils Hotels Plus (Multisource) tool for agents. The platform was created for agents in the Asia-Pacific region and gives them search and shopping capability for the hotel aggregators via a single screen. Travel Boutique Online India has signed a full content agreement with Amadeus to provide hotel content from South Asian to agents via the Hotels Plus (Multisource) service.Time to feed the zombie travel startups to the lions (aka The Successful Ones)The m-Power mobile travel app for Amadeus debuts a full redesignNFC and other mobile trends that will impact travel in the not too distant futureWednesday 6 March 2013:Amadeus and Thalys sign rail distribution agreement. The European high-speed train operator will provide its full range of fares, schedules and availability to Amadeus-connected agents on the e-Travel Management platform. Thalys Ticketless - a service to permit travel withut a paper ticket - will also be included as part the agreement.The New York Times slams the airlines’ proposed NDC, and IATA respondsUrgent wake-up call – time to create a sense of urgency in the travel booking pathMonday 4 March 2013:Travelport extends non-executive chairman agreement. A filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US disclosed former-CEO Jeff Clarke and current non-executive chairman will remain in position until May 15 2013.More startup lessons! RIP ViajeMe, cites local bureaucracy and business model issuesFriday 1 March 2013:GetThere and Harman International sign agreement for Virtual Meetings technology. The partnership will give Harman employees around the globe the chance to reserve virtual meetings in the same way it does for air tickets and hotels through its existing travel booking deal with Sabre. The Virtual Meetings system has a network of over 4,000 public rooms for users to secure around the world.TnoozLIVE VIDEO – February 28 – Mergers, NDC, activities, Glass, always connected, meta marriageUsing technology to sooth the Achilles’ heel of the traveller experiencePrevious GDS updates:Travel distribution news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - February 2013Travel distribution news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - January 2013GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - December 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - November 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - October 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - September 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - August 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - July 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - June 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - May 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - April 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - March 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - February 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - January 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - December 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - November 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - October 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - September 2011GDS news: Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - August 2011GDS news: Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - July 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - June 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - May 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - April 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - March 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - February 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - January 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - December 2010GDS Bitesize - January 2010 to November 2010NB: World map technology image via Shutterstock.