Customer Stories & Opinions
STRATEGY & VISION
Boosting Your Business
- Amadeus is transforming the selling process with Amadeus Airline Retailing Platform
- Automate all your payments with Moneydirect
- Amadeus revolutionises rail distribution
IN THE NEWS
- Meta Pricer: creativity & innovation reap their reward
- Meet Albert Pozo, new head of Travel Management Companies and Large Business Travel Agencies
- New Dubai hub to support the fast-growing Middle East market
- Guaranteeing airline content for travel agencies
- TravelTainment: a new business unit for international leisure distribution
Amadeus revolutionises rail distribution
Different ticketing standards, different booking platforms and processes, license restrictions complicate the process of booking rail. At the same time, business travellers increasingly want to use rail on short-haul journeys of less than 3 hours. Amadeus Rail gives you instant rail-air comparisons with fast & easy booking... and helps relieve the headache of selling rail travel.
From open skies to open tracks
It’s a fact: rail is booming. Getting rid of its image of a state-owned archaic mode of transport, rail has now overtaken car and air travel to become the means of transport that meets corporations’ and their business travellers’ new needs. With over 26 billion global rail passengers every year - compared to 2.5 billion passengers for air - and an increase of 10,000 kms of high-speed rails expected to open up in Europe by 2020, Amadeus firmly believes that the rail market will continue to grow significantly. On short-haul journeys of less than three hours, rail is a real alternative to air travel.
“High speed rail will increasingly supplant short haul flights as the major means of travel on short journeys, certainly within Europe. It’s been a very strong trend for a while and strong trends don’t level off quickly. High speed rail gives choice and power back to consumers, which is always a powerful thing,” says Richard Brown CEO Eurostar.
In a world in which we are more and more conscious of preserving our environment, we “go green” in the way we travel. To reduce their carbon footprints, corporations now make it a policy that their corporate travellers use rail instead of air for journey times up to 3 hours. Seen as efficient and “green”, rail can look forward to a bright future.
And to “fuel” the increase in shift on top of the green factor, deregulation will play a big part with the introduction in the Europe Union’s second phase in 2010 – international traffic open to competition allowing railways to operate outside their own country. Alliances such as the RailTeam have now formed in preparation of this next phase in order to look at taking further market share from the airlines on key city pairs around Europe.
There is no doubt that there is an increasing need to package a rail journey.
2007: All EU freight open to competition (previously only international)
2010: All EU international traffic open to competition
2017: All EU domestic passenger traffic open to competition (proposal)
But the truth of the matter is that rail distribution is not fully equipped to benefit from this trend, with high content fragmentation, different booking platforms and processes, no ticketing standards, to name just a few. Because historically rail providers each have their own booking system, it takes an agent up to 10 to book rail wheras only 2 minutes to book air. Booking rail is essential to meet your customers’ needs, but it can’t be done to the detriment of your agents’ productivity. However, there is now an excellent solution.
One platform to book rail
Aware of the opportunities offered by the rail industry to your customer, Amadeus has developed a set of integrated products to give you real-time access to rail content from a single booking tool.
High-speed trains as well as express trains connecting airports with their cities are available on the airline display to offer both an alternative and a complement to air transport. It offers travel consultants a side-by-side comparison of the two modes of transport. With this solution, high speed railways are not only able to compete with short-haul airlines on a level playing field – and attract international travellers who may not previously have considered using the train – but are able to benefit from interlining with strategic airline partners.
European conventional trains are bookable on a unique rail display. This is a new concept that comprises a system enabling multi-channel distribution from a single API based on Rail Business logic. It uses a progressive single screen interface to view and compare such things as passenger fares for more than one railway operating the journey and improve end-user productivity such as for the traditional travel agent.. More significantly it provides the potential for a gateway solution designed to meet a railway’s entire distribution platform needs.
No more specific training is required for your agents. It offers a unique record for all related travel booking information (Passenger Name Record) and is seamlessly integrated to the travel agency’s mid and back office. With the use of graphics we make it easier for you to compare at a glance too.
Easily switching from one display to the other within the same booking tool, your agents will be able to offer multi-segment trips to their customers without spending all their time doing the reservations, therefore providing true consultancy.
This solution will open rail distribution to key new channels, including corporate self booking tools and online travel agencies in a cost efficient way and in a more rapid time to market than has been possible so far. Released this year in the UK market, the Amadeus suite of rail products is planned to be launched progressively to the rest of Europe from 2009.
Announcing the “final piece of the jigsaw”, the acquisition of OneRail enables Amadeus to bring to its customers a full offer. From inventory, fares and pricing modules, to multi-channel distribution, Amadeus has put together a unique portfolio meeting the business needs of the industry with rail competency centres in Nice (France), Bad Homburg (Germany), Sydney and Toronto.
You can rest assured that Amadeus is laying down the tracks for you to enter a new frontier in Rail distribution.