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What Zuji’s suspension for missed payments means for Asia’s online travel pioneers

12/07/2018| 3:37:15 PM|

The entry of OTAs, such as Expedia and Agoda with large marketing funds and deep expertise, is clearly biting Zuji.

Asian online travel agency Zuji has failed to meet its payment obligations for airline ticket sales and has been suspended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from selling tickets through a settlement program with participating airlines.

Zuji operates in Singapore and Hong Kong but its websites in both markets have been taken down, proclaiming, “New site coming soon.”

It is unclear if Zuji is able to settle its outstanding dues to airlines within a specific time. There are also “a number of factors to consider before the agent can be reinstated,” said IATA’s spokesperson Albert Tjoeng.

The amount that Zuji owes to airlines is undisclosed.

“We expect to resume our service with our new website in Q1 2019.” said an official spokesperson, Jackson Hui.

Zuji was birthed in Singapore in the infancy days of Asia’s online travel in 2002 by a consortium of airlines and the now defunct Asia-Pacific distribution system Abacus, which was acquired fully by Sabre Holdings in 2015.

The OTA changed hands three times, first to Sabre’s Travelocity in 2006, which sold it to Australia’s Webjet in 2012 for $18 million in 2012, which in turn made a tidy sum by selling it four years later to HNA Group-affiliateed aviation firm Uriel for $40 million.

The entry of OTAs, such as Expedia and Agoda with large marketing funds and deep expertise, is clearly biting Zuji.

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TAGS: Zuji | OTA
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