RealTime IT News

ebookers.com to Offer Flight Auctions in Europe

[London, ENGLAND] European online travel company ebookers.com announced Monday that it intends to roll out a flight auctions service across Europe, beginning in the second quarter this year.

The announcement follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding with technology infrastructure company capXnow. The two firms have agreed a revenue sharing deal, with capXnow meeting most of the development costs.

Dinesh Dhamija, chief executive of ebookers.com, noted that ebookers.com already sells the full range of air fares, including those at published airline rates as well as negotiated discount fares and distressed or "last minute" inventory.

"An agreement with capXnow will add a major new dimension to our selling of distressed capacity. We believe that the way the capXnow technology incorporates customer relationship management technology will give us a significant advantage over our competitors," said Dhamija.

The move is clearly a major challenge to the best-known late deals company, lastminute.com, which has itself invested heavily in proprietary technology. In the competitive world of selling air fares, "off-the-shelf" e-commerce software is no longer good enough to keep an online travel company ahead of the pack.

When the new system is in place, customers will see a maximum price and be invited to submit bids on or below that amount.

However, the software will further benefit ebookers.com by collecting customer data, which, together with push-marketing, will enable the travel company to target customers with specific tailored deals and price propositions.

Frank Wade, chief executive of capXnow, said that airline and other travel industry suppliers would improve their yields and maintain full control of the placement of their capacity when the ebookers.com system is implemented.

"ebookers.com represents a critical component for the capXnow system, making it even more productive for our suppliers," said Wade.

Founded in February 2000, capXnow has an international team of 35 people based in Madrid. It develops software solutions for producers of time-specific goods and services.

Listed on both the NASDAQ and the Neuer Markt, ebookers.com operates in eleven countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.