RealTime IT News

New Landing for Australian Online Travel Market

The Australian Internet travel market continues to expand, with the entry of new online travel agency, JetNet, into the market.

JetNet will offer the ability to search discounted and published fares, check flight availability, book and purchase flights online, print an itinerary and download booking confirmation from the Sabre computer reservation system.

The company said its major differentiating factor was the ability to offer both published and discounted fares to the consumer, but only show those fares for which the Travelnet search engine had found available seats.

"Jetnet allows the consumer to view real-time available seats for any given airfare, so what they see, they can buy, which is not always the case with online travel sites," said JetNet's director, Timothy Etheridge.

"When other airfare systems search for the customer's travel requirements, they are almost always limited to the full published airline fares," said Etheridge. "Most are incapable of booking in 'real-time' any special deals, last minute offers or other discounted fares, which could provide considerable savings for the customer," he said.

JetNet integrates Travelnet's 'engine', a system for discounted airline fares, together with Sabre, an airline reservation systems which provides live seat allocation. The system has been adopted by a range of Web sites including Cable & Wireless Hong Kong, NTT Japan and Freeserve.co.uk.

"The net result is that the customer is presented with a range of fares for selection - not just the published ones, but the discounted ones as well," said Etheridge.

Meanwhile, Japanese telecommunications company Nippon Telecom has acquired a 20 percent shareholding in the Japanese joint venture of fellow Australian online travel firm travel.com.au.

Nippon Telecom will be issued with 1,500 new shares, equivalent to a capital injection of AUS$2.5 million (US$1.5 million).

The joint venture (JV), Arukikata was established last September between the Itochu Corporation, the Diamond Group and Australian company travel.com.au, which holds a 16 percent stake.

Arukikata will provide Nippon Telecom's Internet service provider ORN with exclusive travel products for the network's travel channel to be launched next month.