Having seen his company recently restructure its heavy debt load, Gordon Wilson, Travelport president and CEO, wants to get the word out that Travelport has "momentum."
"We're investing for the future," Wilson says.
"We have the resources to do so," he adds. "We have the momentum."
The Travelport pep-talk came in a phone interview following the company's release of its third quarter earnings.
While global distribution system segments globally were up just 1%, one bright spot for the company is that it saw its online travel agency segments in the Americas grow 8.1% in third quarter, fueled by gains at Orbitz Worldwide and Priceline, Wilson says.
Although Priceline began processing some American Airlines segments through AA Direct Connect instead of a GDS, Travelport's Worldspan GDS still handles some American Airlines bookings for Priceline, Wilson says.
More importantly, Travelport has benefitted in 2011 because Worldspan takes the lion's share of Priceline's GDS bookings whereas in 2010 Sabre processed a substantial number, as well, Wilson says.
If Sabre's share of Priceline bookings are down, according to Wilson, Priceline says Sabre is still part of its GDS mix.
Travelport saw substantial segment growth in Scandinavia and Germany, but other parts of Europe were "patchy," officials said, with bookings flat in the UK and down in Italy and other parts of southern Europe.
Wilson says he is "bullish" on prospects for Travelport's Universal Desktop, which has been fully rolled out in New Zealand and is 60% deployed in Australia.
Part of the content strategy for the Universal Desktop, which uses the Travelport Universal API, is to access content outside of the GDS, including independent hotels and insurance products, Wilson says.
He claims the Universal Desktop has greater customization and workflow-efficiency capabilities than the new Sabre Red Workspace, which he dismisses as a "graphical interface put on top of a traditional green screen."
On the airline IT front, Wilson talked about Travelport's recently signed "unprecedented" joint development agreement with China's TravelSky.
It is unprecedented because "neither they nor we have done this before," Wilson says.
The two companies will first jointly develop an airline seatmap solution, pooling their resources, and then separately go out into the market to sell the product, Wilson says, adding "it's unlikely we will sell against each other."
The plan is to jointly develop additional airline IT solutions in the future, Wilson says.
Looking ahead, Wilson says "an IPO clearly remains an option for Travelport. These are uncertain markets. Largescale IPOs haven't been occuring and who knows when they will."
Meanwhile, Travelport will continue investing in and building new products.
That's the message.