Saturday, 12 January 2013

Virgin Australia "comes of age"

Virgin Australia will transition to a new reservations system in a move to align it with partner airlines and to increase exposure of its products globally. The migration to the new system represents a significant change in sales distribution strategy for the airline.

The airline will consolidate its disparate reservations systems onto Sabre on January 12 and 13 to replace Navitair – introduced for Virgin Blue – and Amadeus, currently used to support the airline’s international operations.

The move to Sabre will enhance Virgin Australia’s exposure to travel agents globally, which stands to capture greater revenue especially in the lucrative corporate sector.

Virgin Australia’s group executive of corporate communications Danielle Keighery said that as with any major system change there would likely be an impact on travel during the transition.

“We have been working with Sabre and our various partners on detailed planning for the transition and we have implemented a number of measures to ensure minimal impact to our customers. This includes stationing extra staff in terminals and contact centres and the training of over 4,000 team members in the new system”, Keighery said.

“We are advising customers travelling during and immediately after the transition to arrive earlier than usual for flights, to bring a printed copy of their Virgin Australia E-ticket or itinerary with them to the airport and to use kiosk or web check-in where possible.”

Virgin said that for Australian domestic flights departing on Saturday January 12 web and mobile check-in would be opened earlier than usual and that customers planning to book flights or make changes to current bookings should do so before Saturday January 12 or after Sunday January 13.

Virgin has also brought forward check-in cut-off times during the transition: one hour for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Finally, as part of the changes, from January 14, all Virgin Australia flight numbers will begin with the code ‘VA’ rather than ‘DJ’.

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