Ctrip-owned OTA Trip.com says it intends to compete on technology and customer service having been granted an IATA license for UK operations at the beginning of this year.
The firm, which operates a 200-headcount call center for European markets in Edinburgh, is now looking to forge more direct relationships with key airline suppliers.
James Spalding, UK airline director in Trip.com’s flight business unit, told Travolution that Trip.com is in a learning phase as it transitions from being reliant on third-party aggregators for supply and moves towards establishing itself as a full-trip assistant for UK and international customers.
“When you have direct relationships with airlines there’s a lot more you can do around ancillaries and NDC."
In Europe Spain and the Netherlands are likely to be the next markets it establishes a presence in as it is granted IATA licenses, quickly followed by France, Germany and Italy.
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