A joint venture has been formed to take ownership of Travelport Japan and Japan Airlines’ Axess International Network subsidiary.

The combined Travelport Axess brand will operate a Global Distribution System tailored to the needs of the Japanese travel industry.

Travelport Axess aims to build a strong position and plans to become the leading GDS provider in Japan.

Travelport will hold an unspecified majority stake in Travelport Axess, with Jal controlling the remaining stake and playing an active role in the joint venture.

The new joint venture is expected to be formed on June 1.

Travelport Japan and Axess will initially continue to operate independently, with a gradual programme of integration to combine the two organisations starting later this year.

The joint venture will combine Axess’ expertise in Japan and Travelport’s global technology leadership.

Travelport Axess will continue to offer travel agents services through Axess’ GDS platform and enable access to Travelport’s Apollo and Galileo systems.

Online, mobile and business travel options will be provided including global booking and expense management tools as well as access to Iata’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) content.

Travelport has provided core systems to Axess under technical collaboration arrangements since 2012 and has established a “trusted relationship” with Jal.

Travelport Axess will have a team of Japan-based service agents and product specialists able to deliver products tailored to customer needs.

Jal international passenger sales executive officer Yoriyuki Kashiwagi said: “We believe that the future of travel will be transformed by technological innovation.

“I am confident that Travelport Axess, will be able to help Japanese travel agents to respond to growing global demands by offering services based on state-of-the-art technology.”

Travelport president and CEO Gordon Wilson said: “This announcement and our ongoing partnership with Japan Airlines is a significant advance in the provision of state-of-the-art technology for the Japanese travel industry.

“We are very excited about the growth opportunities it presents for our mutual travel agency customers.”

Travelport chief commercial officer Stephen Shurrock added: “Through a forward-thinking combination of Axess’ local expertise and Travelport’s API-based commerce platform technology we’ll bring greater choice and exceptional performance to our Japanese customers and travellers.”

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