eGlobalfares and Umbrella
David Rifkin is CEO of eGlobalfares, a sophisticated, leading global multi-GDS solution for Travel Management Companies to collaborate when servicing customers around the globe. David is also a big fan of Umbrella.
We are honored by this and it is something we are very proud of. But how exactly does eGlobalfares work and why does it work so well in conjunction with Umbrella Faces?
David, you are a big fan of Umbrella Faces. What exactly do you like so much about our solution?
There are many traveller profile tools in the market that we have seen from our clients and prospects. Most require software development to integrate them into the GDS reservation process. Umbrella is really exceptional. It is, to my knowledge, the first and only plug-and-play tool in profile management that we could integrate with no development time or cost and is a very robust tool for the Umbrella clients.
Set up is quick and – boom – profiles are immediately available through eGlobalfares. You have really built a great, unique tool.
Thank you for the compliment! But now we want to know what eGlobalfares does.
We provide flexible and configurable platforms for TMCs to search, compare and manage air reservations for their clients within and outside of their geographic areas. We work across the 6 major GDS and integrate with the users’ existing GDS as well as the workflows in their mid- and back-office systems.
Wherever a reservation is made, the agency has 24/7 access to the live reservation and can manage anything they need because we have a GDS translator on our emulator. This means that an agent trained in one GDS can use that GDS’s formats to manage a reservation in the same or another GDS.
We are in 80 countries today and expanding that count.
Can you describe for us a few concrete use examples for eGlobalfares?
TMCs or consortia are able to best manage air contracts for their global corporate clients on a single platform across multiple members even if they are on different GDS. All fulfilment partners with their various GDS and booking platforms can access these fares at any time. This is a big advantage when bidding for business.
We have customers using our eGlobal Direct product for meeting attendees and to sell to their sub-agents, ICs (GDS trained or not) and much more. Our technology is adaptable to address many agency challenges and needs.
eGlobalfares is also a “matchmaker” for travel agencies. We can assist in attaining a supplier where a subscriber needs one and/or suggest a partner for a specific customer need. This results in very close partnerships and collaborations with agencies from all over the world.
Networks such as Virtuoso use the power of the eGlobalfares technology to provide their air contract content to their members.
Does that mean you serve both business and leisure travel agencies?
Right! That also includes MICE providers, for instance.
Could you quickly list what content you can offer?
- GDS: Apollo, Galileo, Worldspan, Amadeus, Abacus and Sabre
- Low-cost fares from Travelfusion, including NDC content
- Specialty fares such as seaman fares, humanitarian fares, etc.
- China: We will soon announce Chinese domestic (from over 50 carriers) and international fares through a partnership with an agency in China
How, when and why did you have the idea of starting eGlobalfares?
I served a very large, international corporate client with my own travel agency. In the process, we became increasingly confronted with market-specific fares. After meeting with Ian Bennyworth through the Travelsavers/TWIN Group, we shared a vision that there had to be a better way to collaborate on accounts in different geographic locations. Ian developed the concept for eGlobalfares. That was back in 2004.
Shortly thereafter, I sold my agency to Adelman Travel Group who then became the first pilot customer of eGlobalfares. When I left Adelman, I invested in eGlobalfares, became the CEO and continued investing capital to help get us to where we are today.
By the way, Ian Bennyworth, the former footballer from Hull in England, is Director of Operations of eGlobalfares and a close friend and business partner.
A bit about David Rifkin outside of work: what do you like besides work and what is your favorite travel destination?
I am a huge sports car fan, especially BMWs. As far as travel destinations go, I love cruises (river and ocean) and the island of Aruba. Many say the atmosphere there is really special and that it is probably one of the best destinations for an island holiday. I would agree!
Thank you so much, David. It was great talking to you!