At this stage, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is opening up just a glimpse of the market – a taste of enhanced travel distribution in the China market in a controlled manner. The potential piece for foreign GDS companies actually represents less than 5 per cent of TravelSky’s total segments.
Many in the travel industry have heard about China travel deregulation, but not everyone understands what it actually means to them. As of October 1, a change in the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Computerised Reservation System (CRS) saw foreign airlines begin to leverage distribution partners such as Abacus to enable access to their fares and content across a wider network of travel agents.
As stipulated in the CAAC provision, a “Foreign Carriers may, with the approval of CAAC, entrust its Sales Agent to directly access and use a foreign CRS and use the ticketing certificate of the said Carrier to sell foreign tickets” including “international routes which consist of domestic and foreign routes of China but does not include international tickets of domestic routes that have no code-sharing with a China air transportation carrier” and an “approved international ticket which has a code-share with either a China air transportation carrier or foreign transportation carrier.”
All this points to a good first step, with the CAAC opening up just a glimpse of the market – a taste of enhanced travel distribution in the China market in a controlled manner. Travel services in China are generally viewed as strategic service, and guarded heavily to prevent dissolving it from the monopoly that it is.
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