Amadeus works in partnership with hoteliers to build IT solutions for next generation hotel management systems focused on delivering a single view of rates, inventory, reservations, content and guest information plus enhanced distribution and merchandising tools, in order to enable hotel business and brand transformation. In addition, this single view of the guest and all operations helps to remove operational complexity. Our solutions are based on open technology and offered as a Software as a Service model (SaaS) which is less expensive and more flexible than traditional solutions for hoteliers.
Building on our unique experience in delivering mission-critical systems for airlines, Amadeus is now extending its offer to ground handlers. Amadeus has leveraged its leadership position in airline departure control systems to propose a fully automated and integrated set of solutions for ground handlers using the technological capabilities of Amadeus Altéa Departure Control Systems - Customer Management and Altéa
Departure Control Systems - Flight Management services for airlines as a base.
With Altéa DCS for Ground Handlers, the complexity of pairing the ground handler's system with the airline's own specific business rules is removed, permitting a seamless integration of the ground handler's and the airline's operations regardless of whether the airline uses the Amadeus Altéa suite or not.
This enhanced level of integration results in increased productivity for ground handlers and provides higher quality services to the airlines and their customers. Ground handlers migrating to the Altéa suite have the capability to service all types of airlines through a single terminal and one intuitive interface, gaining operational efficiency while providing best quality services. The benefits of higher staff flexibility and reduced training expenses are considerable.
Amadeus Altéa DCS for Ground Handlers is a community platform developed by working closely with ground handlers that allows customers to take advantage of a combination of ground handlers' expertise and Amadeus technology.
Revenue from IT Solutions accelerated its growth in 2012 to 13.0%. This increase was driven both by IT Transactional revenue growth, fuelled by growth in PB volumes, together with an improvement in non-transactional revenue.
Contribution margin continues to benefit from certain operational leverage and is 73.2% for 2012 vs. 72.6% for 2011, despite negative FX impact on margins.
From a commercial perspective, 2012 was a very successful year. We continued to sign new clients to the Altéa platform with special mention of Southwest Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier in terms of domestic passengers boarded. This airline is the first US carrier to contract Amadeus' Altéa reservations solution in order to support the carrier's international service. While the agreement focuses on the international element of Southwest's reservation system, the contract also provides the option for Southwest to convert its domestic business to Amadeus in the future.
During the year, we continued to invest significantly, not only in preparation for the migrations of 2013 and 2014, but also in the new business areas, with the aim to enlarge our Total Addressable Market, reaching other businesses outside Airline IT, within travel.
During the year 2012, the number of passengers boarded reached 563.8 million, 28.4% higher than in 2011, despite the loss of traffic from Spanair and Malev, both of which ceased operations early in the year. On a like-for-like basis, the organic underlying PB growth was 7.4%, ahead of traffic growth, given the positive mix in our client base.
As of December 31, 2012, 52.5% of our total PB were generated by Western European airlines, where growth was fuelled by the contribution from airberlin and Norwegian (both migrated in December 2011) as well as SAS, migrated in the first quarter of 2012. The number of PB related to carriers in the Asia Pacific region also increased very significantly, driven by the migration of Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. Asia Pacific now represents 12% of our total PB.