[May 24] European online travel company
Wednesday it has entered an alliance with France Telecom
that will give it access to the French telco’s growing
WAP customer base and 1.3 million Wanadoo ISP users.
ebookers.com has an online subsidiary in France called
La Compagnie des Voyages
which will now provide search results in French to
France Telecom’s online communication channels. Besides
Wanadoo and the WAP service they include the Voila portal
and its WAP equivalent Voila Mobile.
Dinesh Dhamija, chief executive officer of ebookers.com,
said that the new partnership underlined ebookers.com’s
commitment to keep strengthening its brand in Europe.
“France is a key market for us, and partnering with France
Telecom, the leading French telecommunications player,
provides us with direct access to a major proportion of
French Internet users, and it gives us a first-mover
advantage with its potentially huge WAP user base,” said
Although WAP services are not yet widely available,
France Telecom has ordered 5 million WAP mobiles for
the next 7 months, and WAP portal Voila Mobile will
be launched in June.
In February 2000, ebookers.com formed an alliance with
AOL Europe, covering France and 8 other European countries.
Recently it signed a WAP deal with BT Cellnet in the U.K.,
further strengthening its multi-channel access.
As an independent online European travel agency, ebookers.com
faces stiff competition from airlines that plan to sell
tickets and other services direct to the public. However,
by continually adding to its own services it hopes to
keep at least one step ahead of the competition.
Originally a spin-off from Flightbookers plc, ebookers.com
operates in eleven countries: Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the U.K.