Tropic Air is the
largest airline in Belize with over 30 years of experience. It is based at San
Pedro Airport (SPR). The carrier serves 14 destinations in 4 countries,
including Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Before teaming up with
Hahnair Systems we distributed through extranet accounts and direct sales
(website) as well as call centers. We had no GDS presence or tool to facilitate
sales via IATA agents. The partnership with Hahnair Systems (H1-Air) presented
a great opportunity for us as we saw it as a first step into the IATA travel
market while avoiding the risks that newcomers usually face.
We saw immediate
interest from IATA agents and we became better known and trusted. We chose to
be sold via the code H1 and were able to reach new markets even outside our
region, for example in Europe. We achieved the best results in the North
American market which immediately became our most important target region.
After we saw the
benefits of indirect distribution via IATA travel agents, we decided that it
was time to further acquaint ourselves with the GDS world. Therefore, we
decided on complementing our strategy with an interline agreement with Hahnair
(HR-169) and formed our own agreements with Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and
The benefits of using
both products is that with HR-169, we can control prices in the GDSs with whom
we have direct agreements and we can be issued on the HR-169 ticket even in
markets where we are not a member of the local BSP. For those regions with
limited sales potential where we don't have agreements with the major GDSs, we
can still be distributed via H1.
For the future, we are
planning to invest in marketing strategies that will allow us to encourage
growth in our most active GDS markets. Overall, distributing via GDSs is much
more cost efficient than our traditional direct channels and we were able to
reduce our cost of sales significantly.
Kurt Bautista, Operations Analyst and GDS Manager,
Tropic Air, Belize