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Galileo

New generation computerized distribution system to meet the
total future needs of the travel industry.

1. GALILEO is a collaborative project under development by a number of commercial airlines representing several European countries. 2. The objective is to develop and market a new generation computerised distribution system to meet the total future needs of the travel industry. No distribution system of such scope and potential benefit exists today and requires highly sophisticated software to be developed to achieve the end product. 3. The GALILEO system will offer travel distributors, the travel agent, a fully comprehensive automated facility to ensure the maximum exposure of vendors' products and services to potential consumers, and facilitate instant reservations, ticketing and payment. The system will also address the overall business needs of travel agents by providing a comprehensive, automated office management system. Such a management system will offer substantial financial benefits to both agents and vendors from system compatibility and standardization of automated accounting. 4. The system will use the latest computer technology in the form of a large central computer processing facility based on nine IBM 30/90 machines. This facility will have a highly sophisticated system of telecommunications links between the travel distributors (agents) and product and service vendors. In order to manage these telecommunications links, additional computer facilities will be utilised within each national country as "gateway" points to the system. 5. The GALILEO system will be largely based on existing IBM hardware; its main innovation will be in the development of the highly complicated processes to make the system work. A wide degree of innovation is necessary to accomplish this. (See section 7). 6. The scope of the project is huge, both technically and financially. No one European company is believed to be in a position of technical knowledge or financial strength to be able to bring the project to a successful conclusion, and collaboration is therefore crucial, particularly if the project is to be developed in the timescale planned in the face of increasing competitive threats from U.S. suppliers. If successful, the system will be launched primarily in the European market, but with the aim of a profitable extension worldwide. It will also provide a system base from which the further development of other automated commercial services may be exploited and thereby commercial interests generally in information technology and telecommuncations where the U.S. and JAPAN have strong leads. 7. There is little doubt that the travel industry needs an advanced distribution system. Existing distribution systems are barely able to cope with the current scale of increase in the variety of travel products and services offered and their rates of change. Future demands are anticipated to be considerably more extensive, particularly given the drive for deregulation in air and road transport. The opportunities for business and leisure travel that the developing E.U. internal market will encourage, will also encourage innovation generally in the development of new travel-oriented products and services to cater for a growing consumer demand and sophistication. 8. The GALILEO system will also have an overall beneficial impact upon the European travel market and country economies generally. The maximum exposure of travel products and services will be facilitated, consumers will be better informed and thus encouraged to buy, vendors will be encouraged to innovate and maximise yields from better sales and cost control. The system thus becomes a spiralling asset whose synergy is an essential adjunct to the potential success of travel service deregulation, particularly in commercial aviation, and the much wider potential benefits of the development of the Internal Market from 1992. If the freedom to travel for both business and leisure purposes within the Internal Market is not given maximum encouragement, the concept and reality of its potential success will not be realised. Information management technology has an integral role in that concept and the GALILEO system an integral part to play in its success. 9. GALILEO's goal is to develop such a total system of the highest quality in the shortest possible time. Timing is crucial for existing non-European owned distribution systems are also seeking to develop and expand into the European market. The development of GALILEO and its successful market application, will promote and retain the necessary specialist information technology abilities and knowledge in Europe and promote competition in a field where the U.S.A. has a clear lead at present.
Acronym: 
GALILEO
Project ID: 
325
Start date: 
01-06-1989
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
69 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.