HONG KONG — The co-founder of the company that allows airlines to connect quickly and cheaply and cooperate with each other on products and routes will give the keynote address at the annual UATP Airline Distribution Conference Thursday, 23 March, 2017.
Timothy O’Neil-Dunne co-founded Air Black Box (ABB) on a simple premise: Helping Airlines Sell More Stuff. And now, five years later, ABB is doing just that. The company has grown from its four founders to 45 people and is in discussions with airlines worldwide.
ABB not only provides the technology behind the newly formed Value Alliance, but it has been credited with making the alliance possible. ABB can connect airlines in days, not months, and it provides a series of tools that give airlines the means to form alliances with ease and speed and at low cost.
“The demands of day-to-day operations make it easy for airlines to lose focus on the customer and innovations that would in fact strengthen their business,” O’Neil-Dunne said. “On top of that, incumbent technology players are doing their utmost to prevent change through innovation.”
O’Neil-Dunne believes the stakes are high, and that travel industry as a whole risks “becoming another notch in the belt of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon” if it fails to adapt to a changing marketplace. “Consumers have seen many brands and products become commoditised and ultimately either marginalised or disappear altogether,” he said.
The solution lies in intelligent technology that attaches to whatever infrastructure is in place with minimal changes, at low cost and with an ease and speed of implementation that was unheard of just years ago.
ABB: Connecting Airlines to Sell Stuff.
Air Black Box’s first product, the Air Connection Engine (ACE), allows any airline to cross-sell another airline’s full product line within its own online sales channels.
Air Black Box (ABB) is headquartered in Manchester, United Kingdom, and has an subsidiary in Singapore. The company has grown from four to 45 employees in less than five years. Its first clients are in Asia, and the company has aggressive plans to expand to other regions of the world.
ABB believes the travel industry, and airlines in particular, have become victims of the very technology that fueled their early successes. It is now clear that traditional GDSs simply do not have the flexibility to adapt to the modern marketplace, regardless of the time and effort invested in trying to do so.
ABB has developed connectivity solutions that sit separate and apart from this technology “spaghetti.” The company gives airlines the tools to adapt and evolve in the marketplace without losing the investment they’d already made in their existing infrastructure, be it traditional, new or unique.
ABB frees airlines to form alliances with ease and speed. These airlines combine their routes and products and sell them as they wish, under the brand of their choice and in a unified and integrated online shopping environment — in any currency and in any of 13 languages.
ABB’s second product, AirADD, is built on NDC XML standards and allows for the easy allignment and sale of ancillary products, irrespective of how disparate or unique they may be. The airline is completely in control of branding, pricing, presentation and bundling.
This means that Airline A can sell airline B’s ancillaries to Airline A’s customers on Airline A’s website with Airline A’s branding and approach. A full-service carrier could sell low-cost carrier flights and meals to the full-service carrier’s customer with the the full-carrier’s branding and approach. Airline A can seamlessly sell inventory to cities it does not service as if it was part of its own network. It’s virtual interlining with none of the pain and cost of prior.
ABB has a proven track record of implementing its solutions in days rather than years, and for a fraction of cost associated with traditional reservation systems.
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