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SNCF and Amadeus deliver a solution to ease international rail bookings by European travel agencies

The French National Railway, SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français), its subsidiary Rail Europe and Amadeus have partnered to improve and ease the distribution of SNCF rail content to travel agencies and to meet the high expectations of the international traveller. As part of a long-standing cooperation between the two companies, Amadeus is providing European travel agents - from Benelux to Spain, through Germany and Italy- with a new solution that allows easy access to the whole SNCF product range, fares and functionalities. From their usual Amadeus Selling Platform desktop, travel agents can now book French rail tickets with the booking merged back to the Amadeus Passenger Name Record. In addition, Amadeus Web Services - a standard way of integrating web based applications - will soon enable travel agents to build a booking interface on their online portal that includes rail in multi-modal displays or in packages.

Madrid, Spain, 26 August 2010: The French National Railway, SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français), its subsidiary Rail Europe and Amadeus (a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry) have partnered to improve and ease the distribution of SNCF rail content to travel agencies and to meet the high expectations of the international traveller.

As part of a long-standing cooperation between the two companies, Amadeus is providing European travel agents - from Benelux to Spain, through Germany and Italy- with a new solution that allows easy access to the whole SNCF product range, fares and functionalities. From their usual Amadeus Selling Platform desktop, travel agents can now book French rail tickets with the booking merged back to the Amadeus Passenger Name Record. In addition, Amadeus Web Services - a standard way of integrating web based applications - will soon enable travel agents to build a booking interface on their online portal that includes rail in multi-modal displays or in packages.

This latest improvement in SNCF rail content distribution follows the recent successful deployment of E-ticketing technology, which is available on most French domestic routes and soon to international trains. With E-Ticketing, travellers can receive a PDF file with a 2D bar code via e-mail. This can be printed at home or at the office as with air or car travel. Travellers benefit from an improved experience with hassle-free boarding, by just showing the E-ticket to the on-board controller, exchange and refund over the phone or the Internet, and a smooth rail journey downtown to downtown.

To benefit from the best SNCF content, Amadeus Travel Agencies just have to get a free SNCF accreditation via the local Rail Europe subsidiary.

“We are very happy to partner with Amadeus to improve the reach of our products outside the French market. Using Amadeus’ technology and travel distribution expertise and knowledge, travel agents in Europe will have easy access to our products benefitting from some of our latest innovations, such as the E-ticket for SNCF Trains. By leveraging on Amadeus solutions developed with SNCF on the French market, any European travel agency equipped with Amadeus will access in “real time” to all improvements such as E-ticket” commented Fabien Soulet – International Sales Director, SNCF.

“With this solution, accessing rail information and booking the best of rail in conjunction with other travel services (hotel car rental etc) become even easier. Now the European travel agencies will be able to better serve people looking for rail, everyday as well as under particular circumstances such as the recent volcanic disorder.” Olivier Pinna, CEO, Rail Europe Continental.

“Unlike the airlines, the rail industry does not have a common standard data exchange, therefore, making a rail booking requires good railway functionality knowledge and the ability to use several rail booking applications,” commented Diane Bouzebiba, Head of Amadeus Rail. “By integrating railways in Amadeus Selling Platform and our web service product, we are now providing an easier way of distributing rail products. This is a win-win for all parties: for SNCF – who benefit from a greater reach – and for the travel agent, who has a back office feed, improved productivity and access to relevant content to provide a better service for the traveller.”

– Ends –

Notes to the editors

About SNCF
SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français - French National Railway) is a French public enterprise with its headquarters in Paris. Its functions include operation of rail services for passengers and freight, and maintenance as well as signalling of rail infrastructure owned by RFF (Réseau Ferré de France). SNCF Groupe employs about 235,000 people. SNCF transport 1.1 billions passenger per year. The rail network consists of about 29,500 km of route, of which 1,881 km is high-speed line and 15,490 km is electrified. About 14,000 trains are operated daily. SNCF owned 450 TGV trains. The turnover is 30.5 billions Euros in 2010.
For more information, please visit http://www.sncf.com/en_EN/

About Rail Europe Continental
Rail Europe Continentale (REC), a 100% subsidiary of the French National Railways (SNCF), is in charge of the promotion and distribution of the European rail products, on all markets in Continental Europe (except for France), from Portugal to Russia.

REC targets business clients as well as leisure clients; it offers both individual and group travelling on French rail and international rail.

Thanks to some 100 employees with expertise in trains and offices in Brussels, Cologne, Warsaw, Geneva, Milan and Madrid, REC has succeeded to establish strong relationships with distribution and tourism representatives (travel agencies, tour operators, GDS, etc), which are at the core of our distribution.

REC also works closely together with the various European national railway companies and with numerous other commercial partners or organisations, such as Atout France for example.

About Rail Europe Limited
Rail Europe Limited is the UK’s leading specialist in tickets and passes for rail travel around Europe. Rail Europe has been helping travellers heading for the continent for around a hundred years as the UK arm of the French National Railways (SNCF).

Rail Europe provides expert advice and assistance on a comprehensive range of European rail products and tailor made solutions for both individual and group bookings : high speed European rail network tickets (including Eurostar, TGV, Thalys and TGV Lyria), European overnight services, local and regional trains direct to thousands of destinations and InterRail and Swiss Rail passes.

Rail Europe has a dedicated sales team for Travel Agents and Tour Operators and provides a wide range of support including up to date product information, service updates, product training and destination ideas.
For more information visit our dedicated Trade website at www.raileurope.co.uk/trade or call our Agency Sales Team on: 01732 526750.

About Amadeus
Amadeus is the leading transaction processor and provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry.

Customer groups include travel providers (e.g airlines, hotels, rail, car rental, ferries, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and individual travellers).

The group operates a transaction-based business model and processed more than 670 million billable travel transactions in 2009.

Amadeus has central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters and marketing), Nice (development) and Erding (Operations – data processing centre) and regional offices in Miami, Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Dubai. At a market level, Amadeus maintains customer operations through 72 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations covering 195 countries.

Amadeus is listed on the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges and trades under the symbol “AMS.MC”. For the year ended 31 December 2009, the company reported revenues of EUR 2,461 million and EBITDA of EUR 894 million. The Amadeus group employs over 9,300 employees worldwide, with 123 nationalities represented at the central offices.

To find out more about Amadeus please visit www.amadeus.com

To visit the Amadeus Investor Relations centre please visit www.investors.amadeus.com


Contact details

Amadeus
Corporate Communication / Corporate Marketing
tel: +34 91 582 0160
fax : +34 91 582 0188
e-mail : mediarelations@amadeus.com


SNCF
Presse Departement
Agnès Grisoglio
tel: + 33 1 74 54 08 39
e-mail :agnes.grisoglio@sncf.fr

Marie Royer
tel: + 33 1 74 54 08 41
e-mail :marie.royer@sncf.fr