Sita Taps ICT to Provide Airlines with Reservation Agents

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Sita, a telecommunications and information solutions company serving the air transport industry, will offer the 140 airlines who use its airlines reservation system the opportunity to outsource European passenger reservation services through a marketing agreement with ICT Group, Langehorne, PA.

"What we are providing is human interaction for ticket sales," said Karl Moore, public relations manager for Sita. "What we are doing is almost outsourcing our passenger reservation services."

Sita, Geneva, Switzerland, will use multilingual agents in ICT's Harrow, England call center to service its airline clients. The center will be equipped with Sita's Gabriel passenger reservation and management system.

"It is a flexible system that is run by Sita and is mutually hosted by Sita and ICT Group," Moore said. "The call center will be staffed by ICT Group agents dedicated to Gabriel."

The number of agents used will depend on when the call center goes into operation, which is expected to happen early this year. The Harrow facility is being shared by ICT Group and another company, and the terms for added space are being negotiated.

"We are expecting hundreds of calls in the average day," said Moore.

The agreement is considered attractive to clients interested in serving customers outside their home country. It will allow airlines to access new markets without investing in their own call centers.

Airlines that use the Gabriel passenger reservation and management system include Russia's Aeroflot, Poland's Lot, and Malev of Hungary.

"The net effect is that the customer will reach a service agent who knows the system and will be able to make a reservation on any airline," said Derrick Vlad, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development for ICT. "We have already started training for the agents."

The Harrow location was chosen because of the availability of multi-lingual people in the area to serve as call center agents.

"Since each country will have its own toll free number to connect with the system it is important that the agents speak other languages very well," Moore said.

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