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Heathrow Express first air-rail link to be available worldwide to travel agencies using Amadeus

Amadeus and Heathrow Express have implemented an agreement which allows Amadeus travel agencies worldwide to book tickets on Heathrow Express using Amadeus Selling Platform. Heathrow Express, which operates a high-speed, non-stop service between Heathrow Airport and central London, is the first air-rail link to be available on Amadeus. Today's announcement is a key part of Amadeus' strategy to bring all rail services onto a single booking platform for the travel agent.

16/09/2008. • Travel agents can now book Heathrow Express as standalone tickets through the Amadeus distribution system using locator code 9G

• Fares in the GDS will be 10% cheaper than in other channels
• Travellers experience a seamless, hassle-free trip experience to and from the airport and central London.

Madrid, Spain, 16 September 2008 – Amadeus, a leading provider of technology to the travel and tourism industry, and Heathrow Express have implemented an agreement which allows Amadeus travel agencies worldwide to book tickets on Heathrow Express using Amadeus Selling Platform. Heathrow Express, which operates a high-speed, non-stop service between Heathrow Airport and central London, is the first air-rail link to be available on Amadeus. Today’s announcement is a key part of Amadeus’ strategy to bring all rail services onto a single booking platform for the travel agent.

Travel agencies can now earn more revenue by booking Heathrow Express efficiently alongside the flight, and offer their customers a smoother and more complete travel experience. Heathrow Express schedules and fares are now shown, with the two-letter IATA designator code, “9G”, on the Amadeus Selling Platform alongside airlines. Based on standard airline e-Ticketing technology, the system generates train tickets in pdf format which the traveler can use as a valid voucher to board Heathrow Express trains, so there is no need to pick up a ticket at the station. The implementation expands Heathrow Express’ distribution to include over 90,000 travel agency locations in over 215 geographic markets around the globe through the Amadeus distribution system.

Diane Bouzebiba, Head of Rail in Amadeus commented, “With this agreement, travel agencies can make Heathrow Express bookings quickly and efficiently from the air screen; this is a significant step forward in our strategy of providing the most complete air and rail content of the industry, and streamlining the overall trip experience for the traveller. We are glad that Heathrow Express accompanies us in this effort to enhance our content and we trust other airport express railways will follow the path started by Heathrow Express.”

Brian Raven, Managing Director, Heathrow Express commented: “We are delighted to be the first air-rail link available on Amadeus. Through this partnership with Amadeus, we will see our distribution expanded as well as offering customers a seamless travel experience. Selling Heathrow Express through the Amadeus Selling Platform helps our trade partners reach the customer at travel decision time. This opens a window to all travelers booking their flight to or from London and allows agents to book their connection from the airport to the city, all at once.”

This follows the launch of Amadeus Fly by Rail, which allows travel agencies to make an open and transparent comparison between air and rail services. Amadeus will announce a further milestone in its strategy to bring all rail services onto one, simple booking platform later this year.

For more information on Amadeus Fly by Rail visit: http://www.amadeus.com/railwaycompanies/documents/railwaycompanies/Fly%20by%20Rail%20Sales%20Sheet.pdf

For more information on Amadeus’ solutions for rail companies, visit:
http://www.amadeus.com/railwaycompanies

- Ends -

Notes to the editors

Amadeus is the chosen technology partner for providers, sellers, and buyers of travel. The company provides distribution, IT and point-of-sale solutions to help its customers adapt, grow and succeed in the fast changing travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, railway companies, ferry lines, cruise lines, insurance companies and tour operators), travel sellers (travel agencies) and travel buyers (corporations and travellers). Solutions are grouped in four solution categories – Distribution & Content, Sales & e-Commerce, Business Management and Services & Consulting.

Amadeus has central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters & marketing), Nice (development) and Erding (Operations – data processing centre) and regional offices in Miami, Buenos Aires and Bangkok. At market level, Amadeus maintains customer operations in 76 countries covering more than 217 markets.

The company is majority owned by WAM Acquisition, whose shareholders are BC Partners, Cinven, Air France, Iberia and Lufthansa. Amadeus employs over 8,500 employees worldwide, representing 95 nationalities.

More information about Amadeus is available at: http://www.amadeus.com

About Heathrow Express
Launched in June 1998 and operated by BAA, Heathrow Express celebrates its 10th year in service carrying an average of 16,000 passengers each day with over 50 million people having travelled on Heathrow Express since launch.

Heathrow Express leaves every 15 minutes from London’s Paddington station to London’s Heathrow Airport. Customers can get to Heathrow Central (Terminals 1, 2 & 3) in 15 minutes and Terminal 5 six minutes later.

Contact details

Amadeus
Media Relations / Corporate Marketing
tel : +34 91 582 0160
e-mail : mediarelations@amadeus.com

Stephen/Rachel
Tel: + 41 01256 701010
Email: rachel@communicationmatters.co.uk

Heathrow Express press office
Sandeep Bhim
Tel: + 44 020 8750 6673