Japan Airlines and Travelport to form joint venture to operate GDS for Japanese agents

Japan Airlines and Travelport have agreed to form a joint venture to take ownership of Travelport Japan K K (Travelport Japan) and JAL’s 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Axess International Network. Under the unified Travelport Axess brand, the joint venture will operate a Global Distribution System (GDS) tailored to the needs of the Japanese travel industry. The proposed joint venture, which will operate under the brand name Travelport Axess, will combine Axess’ expertise in Japan and Travelport’s global technology leadership.
Yoriyuki Kashiwagi, Executive Officer of International Passenger Sales, Japan Airlines, said, “We believe that the future of travel will be transformed by technological innovation. I am confident that Travelport Axess will be able to help Japanese travel agents to respond to growing global demands by offering services based on state-of-the-art technology.”
Travelport Axess will continue to offer travel agents services through Axess’ GDS platform, and enable access to Travelport’s GDS platforms, Apollo and Galileo. The proposed joint venture will provide online, mobile and corporate travel propositions including global booking and expense management tools as well as access to New Distribution Capability (NDC) content, offering Japanese travel agencies and their customers the best of locally developed products with best-in-class global connectivity and capabilities.
Gordon Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Travelport, commented, “This announcement and our ongoing partnership with Japan Airlines is a significant advance in the provision of state-of-the-art technology for the Japanese travel industry.”
Under the planned agreement, Travelport will hold a majority stake in Travelport Axess, with JAL controlling the remaining stake and playing an active role in the joint venture. Following the signing of a definitive agreement between Travelport and JAL, the new joint venture is expected to be formed on 1st June 2019. Initially, Travelport Japan and Axess will continue to operate independently, with a gradual program of integration to combine the two organizations commencing later this year.