De Telegraaf and Airtrade to open new online travel agency


De Telegraaf and Airtrade Holland intend to start a company on a 50-50 basis. The purpose of the joint venture is to capture a leading position in the fast-growing online travel market in the Netherlands.             
Airtrade Holland forms part of World Travel International, one of the world's biggest travel organisations with more than 1,850 branches in America and Europe. One of this organisation's members is TRX, market leader in Internet travel technology in America and Europe. 
Mr J. Elekan, director of B.V. Dagblad De Telegraaf, explains: "More and more consumers are using the Internet to check out the alternatives before buying products and services. This also holds true for the travel sector. It is precisely this segment that lends itself ideally to the concept of a one-stop-shop, accessed from the consumer's home. To respond to the requirements of this changing market demand De Telegraaf intends to join forces with ‘de Reiskrant’, the travel section of the daily De Telegraaf, to extend and strengthen its current position in the travel sector using the alternatives offered by the Internet. Our expertise, combined with the tried-and-tested technology and Airtrade's sound organisation, will enable us to achieve our objectives. 
Mr A.A.L. Hesselink, director of Airtrade, regards the new joint venture as an acceleration in developments within the Dutch travel sector: "The travel site that we'll be launching at the end of 2000 will persuade many consumers to make their first online reservation. Our technological advantage and our service level will quickly gain the confidence of many travellers through Reiskrant.nl and the high profile of De Telegraaf. The new travel site will first make it easy to reserve flight tickets online. Our site will then be opened for making online reservations for holiday packages provided by all known tour operators.”
The new company will be established in Haarlem.