Travel software platform Duffel has opened its first international office in New York.
The London tech start-up last year raised $30m (£23.4m) from US investor Index Ventures, bringing its total raised to $51.5m.
It also has Americas-focused partnerships with Air Canada, American Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet among more than 20 other global airlines.
The opening of its US office sees the hire of its first US employee, Tyler Trerotola, who brings nearly a decade of regional operations experience having most recently worked as a senior strategist at Uber.
He will head up the US expansion efforts alongside Nicholas Foo, Duffel’s Head of Business Development and Sales.
Duffel’s APIs are designed to allow travel sellers to pull real-time flight offers, make bookings, reserve seats and sell paid extras like checked bags.
It also enables sellers to offer exclusive content accessed through the airlines’ New Distribution Capability (NDC) programs.
“NDC technology is critical to delivering a seamless booking experience, and it has never been more important than now to drive demand recovery for travel,” said Neil Geurin, Vice President of Sales and Distribution Strategy for American Airlines.
“The pandemic has underscored the industry’s need to modernize the travel ecosystem, and Duffel has been a wonderful partner of ours on our NDC journey.”
Duffel founder and CEO Steve Domin added: “Duffel is the fastest integration for developers to build a seamless flight booking experience with access to exclusive content.
“As airlines move forward with NDC, Duffel’s tools are essential in enabling sellers to access all airline content in no time and win new customers, which is even more critical while the industry is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the launch of our New York office, and with Tyler joining the team, this is the right time to accelerate in the US. This new market presence will allow us to build on our customer base in the Americas, delivering more value for our current North American and Canadian airline partners, and bringing new benefits to a wider range of partners, customers and the industry as a whole.”
New hire Trerotola added: “Duffel’s global office launch sends a positive message to the wider travel industry that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic: we’re still very much open for business.
“In fact, a real opportunity exists in the wake of the virus for the industry to replace its previous practices with a new way of working. A way of working that drives innovation and cost improvements for airlines, their sellers, and their sellers’ customers.
“I’m super excited to be joining Duffel at such an encouraging time for the company and I look forward to working with new airlines, agents, and travel startups across the Americas to help us recover from this crisis.”