Travel Weekly reports that the 16-airline Star Alliance, is making a big effort to accelerate the development and use of new-entrant global distribution systems (GDSs).

It met with ITA Software and G2 SwitchWorks in May and is creating a single strategy and standard for selecting new-entrant GDS partners.

The alliance apparently expects to issue a request for information (RFI) later this month, spelling out what alliance members want from a GDS and asking both alternative and traditional GDSs to respond providing details about what they can do.

The intent appears to be to use the alliance’s collective clout, with its 27% share of the worldwide market, to speed the development of the GDS alternatives.

Travel Weekly states further that Graham Atkinson, United’s Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Alliances, has said that he expects the alliance to set a deadline of two to three months for responses to its RFI.

Evidently the alliance carriers are eager to get the new GDS entrants up and running because they are spending about $2 billion a year on GDS fees, which amounts to about 18% of the $11 billion they spend on distribution.

The airlines’ main concern is that they believe they are being overcharged.

Source: Travel Weekly