China is easing its airline distribution regulations, allowing international global distribution systems (GDS) to sell flights in the country for the first time.
The new rules, published by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), will enable non-Chinese airlines to sell their fares via the GDS within China. China-registered airlines however, will still be restricted. The opening of the Chinese market will see travel technology company Amadeus enter the country for the first time.
Speaking about the move, David Brett, President of Amadeus Asia Pacific said; “The new regulations are an important step in bringing positive change to the current travel landscape in China. The regulations will enable a new technology infrastructure that will allow for a more dynamic travel booking market with more travel products on offer that will greatly benefit the Chinese travel industry and Chinese travellers.”
To facilitate its entry into the Chinese market, Amadeus has appointed industry veteran Bart Tomkins as its first Managing Director for China, based in Beijing. Tomkins has worked for Amadeus for 20 years, and launched the company in several new markets including Japan, Russia and Eastern Europe. Amadeus said Tomkins would be responsible for “identifying business opportunities and ensuring the Chinese travel industry and market place understand Amadeus’ offering”.
“Amadeus has played an important role in helping to grow the travel industry across Asia and the rest of the world and we look forward to playing a similar role here in China. We welcome the opportunity to be part of China’s ongoing success and believe that all industry stakeholders would benefit greatly from modern distribution technologies, such as the technology we offer,” said Tomkins.
Amadeus currently provides the e-commerce technologies that power the international websites of Chinese airlines such as Air China, China Southern and Hainan Airlines. It now intends to roll out new technology to the Chinese travel sector.
The new GDS rules come into force on 1 October 2012.