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.

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