I have been looking at this article and throughout the article they mention GDS's but do not explain the terminology. Does somebody know what they are talking about -

For e.g. -

Three GDSs emerge from the previous CRSs and sold off by airlines; pricing transparency grows - centerforaviation.com

CRS I am assuming/presumng means Computer Reservation System.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ NOT OFF TOPIC! If you follow the airline industry, this term comes up frequently, and to understand the conomics behind this part of modern aviation, you have to understand what a GDS is. VTLO. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


GDS stands for Global Distribution System:

A Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network operated by a company that enables automated transactions between travel service providers (mainly airlines, hotels and car rental companies) and travel agencies. Travel agencies traditionally relied on GDS for services, products & rates in order to provision travel-related services to the end consumers. A GDS can link services, rates and bookings consolidating products and services across all three travel sectors: i.e., airline reservations, hotel reservations, car rentals.

These are the databases that maintain travel reservations and allow travel agents to see available inventory and book tickets. As noted in the Wikipedia article, they may also host airlines' computer reservations systems and passenger service systems. For example, Amadeus operates a system used by hundreds of airlines, not to mention thousands of hotels, rental car companies, tour operators, and other travel businesses to maintain reservations and track inventory, and a global distribution system used by tens of thousands of travel agencies, ranging from storefronts to online booking websites, that allows agents to book travel with these providers.


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