Amadeus continued to expand its position in the distribution business and to build upon its leading offering, signing content agreements with a significant number of airlines, including examples such as Air France KLM, Gulf Air, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, virgin Australia, Emirates, Qantas and Delta Air Lines. Many of these renewed agreements were expanded to include the sale of ancillary services through Amadeus travel agents. With these content agreement signatures, Amadeus continues to deliver on its commitment to guarantee access to a comprehensive range of fares, schedules and availability for Amadeus’ travel agents. Around 80% of Amadeus bookings worldwide are with airlines where a content agreement is in place.
Additionally, global distribution agree- ments were signed with 13 new airlines, including a number of low-cost carriers, making them accessible to travel agencies globally via the Amadeus system.
Low-cost carriers (LCCs) continued to be an area of growth and opportunity for Amadeus. During the year new distribution contracts were signed with eight LCCs and we worked with a strategic partner to deliver an improved connectivity level and workflow integration in order to increase low cost carrier adoption in the travel agency channel. Bookings for LCCs from travel agencies using Amadeus increased by 14.6% over the full year.
In 2012 we continued to invest significantly in the area of merchandising, with a particular focus on the growth area of ancillary services, where we maintain our position as a leader. In January, the flagship carrier Finnair implemented the Amadeus Ancillary Services solution to allow travel agencies to process preferred seats and excess baggage. Amadeus Ancillary Services is an end-to-end solution based on industry standards that helps airlines sell additional services using both travel agencies and the airline’s own call centre or website. In June, Air France also implemented the solution, followed by airberlin and a number of other airlines later in the year. At the close of the year, in total 53 airlines had contracted this service. Of these, 24 had opted to implement the service both in the indirect and direct channels, and 10 were already implemented and using the Amadeus technology to do so.
Expanding the depth and breadth of rail content in the Amadeus system, whilst also improving its bookability and functionality, remained a top priority for Amadeus – and 2012 delivered many successes in this significant growth area. SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français) became the launch customer for Amadeus Rail Agent Track, a state-of- the-art rail booking solution for travel agents which enables agents to access the rail company’s schedules and inventory via a ‘single view’ of fares and availability on one screen. In addition, Amadeus and SNCF also agreed an extension to their full content agreement by which travel sellers have access to all SNCF fares, origins and destinations, and products.
A partnership was also announced with Trenitalia, the transport division of the Italian FS Group, to distribute Trenitalia content through all Amadeus channels. Travel agents around the world are able to book both Trenitalia’s high speed rail products through the existing sales channels and through the Amadeus global distribution system. Travel agents who use the Amadeus Selling Platform have a standardised way to access Trenitalia services, in turn making bookings through an air/rail-based search solution, FlyByRail Track, and Amadeus Rail Agent Track.
SJ Swedish Rail, Sweden’s largest rail operator, both extended and expanded its content agreement and commercial partnership to make its content also available through additional channels integrated into Amadeus’Global Rail Sales Platform, the rail-specific distribution service. For the first time SJ content became available through the offline and online travel agency channels using Amadeus Agent Track and Amadeus Web Services Track – as well as continuing to be distributed through Amadeus e-Travel Management, which distributes rail content through the corporate and travel management companies (TMC) channel.