Madrid, Spain, 5 July 2006: Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, today announced that Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service linking the UK with the Continent, has signed a global technology and distribution partnership with Amadeus. Amadeus will act as the gateway, facilitating content between Eurostar and users such as travel agencies, corporations and individual travellers, either through Amadeus, or through other GDSs. In addition, it is the first time that these users will have the option to book and sell Eurostar’s high-speed rail alongside air on the same system. Eurostar will use Amadeus’ industry-leading sales platform, Altéa Reservation, which also drives airline multi-channel sales representing over 496 million passengers per year.
Eurostar is currently available on Amadeus to users in the US, and will become available in the UK in early 2007. In the near future, Eurostar will extend the agreement to additional markets, allowing more users to access its inventory.
Eurostar’s UK & International Sales Director, Emma Harris said: “This development will help Eurostar both in growing its share of the business market in the UK and in developing new markets overseas. Being on the primary screen of a GDS benefits both Eurostar and its trade partners as the travel management companies will be able to achieve greater efficiencies, and we will be more obviously presented as an alternative to short-haul air travel.”
High-speed rail will be available at the highest level of connectivity on the same display as the airlines, for routes less than three-hours in length. In addition, the solution gives Eurostar the tools to develop interline agreements with airlines, allowing travel agents to combine a flight with a high-speed rail link on the same ticket. This allows the user to quickly compare schedules and fares thanks to seamless access and real-time sell and confirmation, attracting customers who would otherwise not have considered rail.
Furthermore, Amadeus will act as the technology partner for booking and e-ticketing activities. The rail travel booking and e-ticketing process will be handled in the same way as airline travel. In anticipation of new IATA standards set for 2008, Eurostar passengers will be issued e-tickets only by travel agents. Travel agents will receive instant confirmation that the ticket has been bought and issued, and will have access to a graphical seat-map display. Just like the Amadeus Air offer, the rail inventory will be available through all online travel agencies, and will also be accessible to corporations through the self-booking tool.
“Amadeus recognises that high-speed railways are being developed all across the world, making high-speed railway services a clear alternative to air. Therefore, we are proud to announce that one of the world’s leading high-speed train services has decided to enter into a strategic technology partnership with Amadeus. Travel agents need to become efficient retailers of high-speed rail, using the air display panel to their advantage as they compare air and rail fares to find the best offer corresponding to customer demands,” explains Albert Pozo, Managing Director, Travel Services & Leisure, Amadeus. “
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 & Consultancy. More information about Amadeus is available at: www.amadeus.com
Eurostar is the fast train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps. Eurostar has won the title of “World’s Leading Rail Service” for the last eight years at the World Travel Awards. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s largest customer. In autumn 2007, Eurostar will switch its UK operations to London’s St. Pancras International. Journey times will fall further with London-Paris only 2h 15m; London-Brussels 1h 51m and London-Lille just 1h20m. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186186 or contact your travel agent.
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