Abacus and Deccan Sign First GDS

Partnership for a low cost carrier in India

Mumbai, Maharashtra, December 13, 2007 /India PRwire/ -- Abacus International, Asia-Pacific’s leading travel facilitator, announced today the first GDS partnership to take place in India’s low cost carrier (LCC) market with the launch of its distribution of fares for Deccan, India’s largest and fastest growing LCC. Effective today, passengers will be able to book their travel on Deccan through Abacus-connected travel agents.

Mr. Kenneth Low, Vice President, South Asia, Abacus International said Abacus was excited to be the first GDS (global distribution system) to move into the thriving low-cost carrier market in India.

“With LCCs expected to double their share of the India market from their current 35% of the market to 70% by 2010, this is definitely a market we wish to lead in. We are excited by the prospects of working with Deccan to escalate their growth within Asia’s vibrant travel industry,” Mr Low said.

Last year an Abacus survey of more than 1,500 travel agents across Asia identified the growing LCC market in Asia as travel agents’ second largest concern for the future because of the potential of the LCCs to bypass travel agents.

“This pioneer partnership provides an ideal launch pad to enable Abacus-connected travel agencies to share in India’s LCC fuelled growth,” Mr Low said.

Ramki Sundaram, Officiating CEO, Deccan said the adoption of the GDS model also allows the airline to significantly expand and distribute their capabilities while keeping costs associated with it low.

“The Deccan – Abacus tie up marks the first GDS adoption by an airline in the India’s LCC market space. Distribution channels are overarching to our growth strategy. We have consistently focused on exploring innovative and effective distribution channels.”

“As a result of this partnership, Deccan will now be available via more than 15,000 Abacus travel agency gateway locations,” added Mr Sundaram.

Ms Charmaine Ng, Managing Director, Abacus Distribution Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, said the partnership with Deccan is an example of Abacus’ determination to aggressively pursue meaningful partnerships with travel suppliers and to bring value to the growing base of Abacus subscribers in India.

“As the LCC with the largest fleet and greatest number of destinations across India, Deccan needed a GDS partner to effectively support and grow their business throughout India. Abacus is proud to deliver this and be the first GDS to make Deccan’s content available to our subscribers,” said Ms Ng.

Travel agents say the impact on customers will be positive and immediate.

“With Deccan now being bookable through Abacus the servicing time to our clients will go down. It will cut down the need to hunt through multiple channels for best fares and availability between LCC’s and full service carriers,” said Mr Dinesh Jain, CEO of New Jolly Travels.

“Deccan being the largest Indian LCC, and with Abacus’ reach, I am sure, all parties involved – the traveller, agent, Deccan and Abacus – will be mutually benefited.”

Abacus is a leading GDS for air content in India. It was the first GDS to distribute fares for the state-owned Indian Airlines and premium carrier Kingfisher Airlines.

Deccan’s partnership with Abacus is an important milestone in the airline’s growth and future plans. At present Deccan operates 350 flights a day to 63 destinations across India. Last year alone the airline carried over 7 million passengers representing an exponential surge in air passenger traffic. Deccan’s decision to make available its ticketing inventory through a Global Distribution Service (GDS) provider reflects the airline’s growing operations and desire to broaden its distribution network accordingly.

Deccan is the fastest growing and largest low cost carrier in India today.

Deccan joins the likes of low cost carriers such as Air Asia and Jetstar Asia, in distributing fares to Abacus’ 15,000 travel agency locations in 24 markets throughout the region.

Notes to Editor

About Abacus International

Singapore-based Abacus International is the Asia-Pacific's leading travel facilitator with more than 15,000 travel agency locations in 24 markets. With 19 years of experience in fusing international best practices and local expertise with global and local partnerships, Abacus provides travel information and reservations specifically tailored to the Asia-Pacific region.

Abacus International is owned by Sabre and a consortium of Asia's leading airlines including All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Dragonair, Philippine Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines. Sabre is the global leader in the electronic distribution of travel and travel related services.

More information on Abacus can be found at www.abacus.com.sg.

About Deccan

Launched in August 2003 with 1 aircraft and 4 flights a day, Deccan is India’s largest and fastest growing low cost carrier today. Flying over 350 flights a day while connecting to 65 destinations, the airline presently operates a modern fleet of 44 aircraft.

Deccan provides affordable air travel at very low costs to the common man and its vision is to ‘empower every Indian to fly’. Deccan flies to a number of destinations, including unconnected sectors like Hubli, Belgaum, Vijayawada, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Kanpur, Tuticorin Hampi, Kandla, Kullu, Rajahmundry and Pathankot. More information on Air Deccan can be found at www.flyairdeccan.net

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