Now that Travelocity has unloaded its North American websites to Expedia and its private label business to Orbitz Worldwide, the largest remaining question is who will buy Travelocity's European holdings, including LastMinute.com.
The operations will be integrated into Orbitz Worldwide’s white-label network, the Orbitz Partner Network, which handles operations such as the American Express consumer travel site.
Travelocity’s private label partners include Yahoo Travel, Kayak (for assisted bookings), Visit Orlando, AAA, Visit Orlando, Bahamas tourism, and others, including some banks.
In January, Yahoo Travel attracted more than 24 million visits, and was ranked as the ninth largest travel booking site — outpacing Orbitz.com.
As part of the deal, an unspecified numbers of Travelocity Partner Network employees will begin picking up Orbitz paychecks.
“The acquisition of Travelocity Partner Network assets will accelerate our growth in the private label space and expand the range of customized solutions we are able to offer to customers, in particular in the loyalty area,” said Ronnie Gurion, president of Orbitz Partner Network. “We look forward to welcoming the customers and employees of the Travelocity Partner Network to Orbitz Worldwide.”
Over the last couple of years, Orbitz Worldwide has made a strategic priority out of expanding its private label business, and picking up Travelocity’s contracts for companies such as Yahoo and others will help build that business.
Last year Travelocity struck a deal to outsource in U.S. and Canadian websites to Expedia Inc., and this is the latest asset dump as Travelocity parent company Sabre readies for an IPO.
A spokesperson for Travelocity says the sale of the Travelocity Partner Network has no impact on sister company LastMinute.com, based in Europe.
“Travelocity’s sale of TPN enables us to focus on Travelocity.com’s future as a retail and marketing-focused organization, as well as the stand-alone strategy for lastminute.com to become the undisputed champion in travel and leisure in the last minute window,” the spokesperson said.
Time will tell, however, whether Travelocity really follows through on that standalone strategy for lastminute.com, or whether it is sold off.
How much did Orbitz Worldwide pay for the Travelocity asset? So far neither Sabre nor Orbitz have issued a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in relation to the acquisition, which means it is not material to either company.
Photo credit: Orbitz Worldwide has acquired Travelocity's private label business, which means Orbitz will be powering parts of Yahoo Travel.