Thomas Cook puts ticketing out to India

Thomas Cook has outsourced its ticketing operations and systems to an Indian subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa.

Thomas Cook has outsourced its ticketing operations and systems to an Indian subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa.

The travel company aims to cut costs for its UK and Ireland business and enable call centre staff to focus on customer service rather than processing tickets.

Previously, two of Thomas Cook's five call centres handled ticketing and invoicing.

Lufthansa, which has a 50% shareholding in the German-owned Thomas Cook, will process about 6,000 flight and package tour tickets per week from its Delhi process management centre.

The decision to outsource followed a company-wide review in 2002. A spokeswoman for the travel company declined to give the value or duration of the contract but said no IT employees had lost their jobs as a result of the deal.

The contract highlights the trend for companies to move IT systems and business processes to countries such as India, where labour costs are cheaper.

Analyst firm Gartner has predicted that the European market for offshore IT outsourcing will grow by more than 40% in 2003 and UK companies are lining up to take advantage of cheaper labour costs in countries, such as India and Vietnam.

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