14 August 2006

The New Big Brother

I am not a fan of really big companies. But we have to accept that we live in a world where Amadeus is the big fish. Just because it is not a big fish in the US market should not blind us to how important they are in the rest of the

Strong performance for Amadeus in Asia Pacific

Amadeus financial results for six months ending on 30 June 2006 showed strong performance for the company. Total bookings grew by 5.5% to 263.9m. Online bookings, from all providers, grew by 22.7% and now represent 13.9% of the total. Amadeus retains its leadership position in travel agency air reservations with 30.5% of the worldwide market share, up 1.3 percentage points year-on-year. Total revenues grew by 12.7% to EUR 1,381.6m.

Asia Pacific continues to demonstrate strong growth in travel agency bookings, online and e-ticketing. Travel agency bookings in the region grew by eight percent to over 25 million. Asia Pacific also saw a significant uptake in e-ticketing with nearly four million e-tickets issued in the first six months of 2006, up nearly 30%. Online bookings processed by Amadeus in the region grew by 56% to nearly 700,000.

Jose Antonio Tazon, President and CEO, Amadeus, comments: “Amadeus’ strong financial performance is testament to our investment in technology for the travel industry. We are proud to manage one of the largest and most advanced civil data centres in the world, which we believe is a key differentiator in our evolving industry and we will continue to invest €300 million each year in our technological infrastructure and development.”

“We continue to drive the transition of our GDS system architecture to open systems based on Unix and Linux, which will deliver two fundamental benefits to our customers. It will keep costs under control as transaction volumes increase exponentially: each day, our datacentre already processes 310 million customer queries. Second, open technology is already allowing us to bring new services and solutions to the market more quickly. As the outsourcing partner for some of the biggest names in travel our time-to-market is their time-to-market.”

Business Highlights

To date, Amadeus has secured content agreements with over 100 airlines across the globe for travel agents and corporations. The most recent ones include US Airways, Copa Airlines, KLM, Maxjet, Paramount Airways and Vueling. Currently 59 airlines in the European market have signed up to the Amadeus Full Content Option, which assures travel agencies that schedules, fares, last seat availability and associated inventory available through Amadeus will be the same as content offered in the following channels:

· Any internet website, including the airline’s own website

· The airline’s own reservation system

· Any other GDS

In July, Amadeus announced a global technology agreement with Eurostar, high-speed passenger train service linking the UK with the Continent. For the first time, users can compare and book real-time Eurostar for routes on the same display as the airlines. In addition, Deutsche Bahn`s fares and availability will also be available on the airline display thanks to a global agreement with Amadeus and AccesRail, allowing agents to choose between rail and short-haul air.

Hotel content

So far this year, Amadeus has added 4,000 new hotels to its system, taking the total number of hotels bookable in Amadeus to over 61,000. The company continued its campaign to guarantee rate parity with other distribution channels by signing 37 leading hotel brands to Amadeus’ Best Available Rate programme.

Leisure travel

In March 2006, Amadeus partnered ACE Hong Kong to offer online travel insurance products through travel agencies in Hong Kong. The collaboration will make the leading insurance provider, the first in Hong Kong to offer travel insurance products through Amadeus.

The Amadeus Leisure platform was launched in France as a tour package solution for travel agents. Selectour is the launch partner, the largest French independent travel agency network covering over 550 travel agencies employing 1,600 travel agents, with over 1,800 points-of-sale in France. In the near future, Amadeus will make its Leisure Platform available to the entire French leisure agency network.

Amadeus added two new cruise lines in the first half of this year – Oceania and MSC Cruises – taking its cruise offering to over 18 cruises lines, the highest of all GDSs. eCruise solution was launched in the US, with plans to expand to other global markets soon. Amadeus continued the rapid uptake of its cruise solution with bookings growth of 200% compared with the same period in 2005.

Travel agencies

At the beginning of the year, Amadeus announced the launch of Amadeus Call Centre Solution to help travel management companies, travel agencies and airlines manage business and leisure call centres more efficiently, cutting call-centre costs by up to 30%.

During the first six months of the year, Amadeus announced the signature of two new global technology partnerships with ITP and Uniglobe. Amadeus will provide common technology platforms for both organisations. Using a common IT platform allows an organisation to deliver a global standard of service more reliably and efficiently, which is becoming more and more important to corporations looking for a travel management partner. Amadeus also extended its partnership with Thomas Cook for another four years, with a global deal to add Egypt, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Poland, UK, India and Sri Lanka to the list of markets where the companies work together.

Advanced low-fare search technology and full content agreements with leading airlines continue to make Amadeus a partner of choice for online travel agencies in Europe. In May, the company began a long-term agreement to provide Expedia with the distribution technology and travel content it needs to offer more flights, better prices and more destinations. And after one year of successful partnership the company announced plans to continue to support Terminal A on their international expansion plans through Amadeus’ technology platform. Amadeus has similar agreements with the top four online travel agencies in Spain and nearly all of Europe’s leading online travel agencies.


Amadeus Altea Customer Management Solution: South African Airways and Pulkovo cut over to the Altea Customer Management Solution (CMS) during the first half of the year, transferring their sales and reservation, inventory management and departure control facilities to Amadeus.

EgyptAir and Etihad Airways became the 27th and 28th airlines to select Amadeus Altea CMS to improve customer service and gain agility to quickly adapt to changing market forces.

Electronic Ticketing: British Airways implemented electronic ticket interline links through Amadeus e-Ticket Server (ETS) with 40 airlines, including all of its oneworld partners and most recently, Austrian Airlines, bmi, Kenya Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, Sri Lankan and Singapore Airlines. Over the next two years, Amadeus will help British Airways to implement e-ticket interlining with an additional 80 new interline partners. Amadeus e-Ticket Server, a hosted solution built on flexible open technology, allows airlines to outsource their full distribution and interlining e-ticketing operations.

Other technology for airlines: British Airways migrated to Amadeus Codeshare, which allows airlines to fully host all codeshare messaging needs in the Amadeus system without maintaining a separate and additional system to communicate between different airlines` inventory systems. British Airways can now support ten partner airlines including Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, LAN Airlines, SN Brussels and Qantas.

Travel Intelligence: 31 airlines around the globe are currently using Amadeus Revenue Integrity to improve yield, forecasting and load factors. This solution helps an airline ensure it is filling planes with paying customers instead of empty seats. Airlines using Amadeus Revenue Integrity have reduced of no-shows from 13% to 4% within days of starting to use the solution.

Distribution: Airlines around the world continue to place their trust in Amadeus for the provision of electronic ticketing solutions. Currently 138 airlines and 134 markets can issue e-tickets through Amadeus.

Online solutions: Kenya Airways implemented Amadeus e-Retail Solution, the best-in-class online booking engine for airlines, and one of the main components of the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite. This has been instrumental in supporting the airline’s strategy to increase their profitability levels and customer loyalty.

Airline bookings made through the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite increased by 28% during the first half of 2006, compared with the same period of 2005. 70 airlines currently use the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite, including Qantas, Air France, and Iberia.

Low cost carrier solutions: Amadeus announced a pilot scheme with a new solution to revolutionise the low cost airline market by providing comprehensive, up-to-the-minute fare and flight information access for the first time to travel agents and corporate customers. The solution, called Ticketless Access, is being piloted by Sterling, a leading Scandinavian low-cost carrier.

Xtra Airways successfully implemented Results Customer Management Solution by Amadeus, the hosting, reservation, fares and pricing, inventory and departure control solution designed specifically for the ready-to-market needs of low-cost carriers.

Partnerships: Amadeus partnered with DOB Systems, a leading provider of market intelligence solutions to the airline industry, to deliver a fully portfolio of data analysis solutions for airlines.

Amadeus also partnered with Constraint Technologies (CTI), a leading provider of optimisation technology to the airline industry, to bring airlines a fully integrated solution comprising CTI`s powerful crew and flight operations optimisation solutions and Amadeus` new generation customer management solutions offering.


Amadeus processed 98% more passenger name reckons through resellers in the first half of 2006 than in the same period last year. This is testament to its strategic relationships with global travel management companies. Carlson Wagonlit has expanded its global agreement to resell Amadeus e-Travel Management and BCD Travel signed a similar reseller agreement for the US. Amadeus has also signed an agreement to provide the corporate customers of etc group, a full-service meeting and travel management company, with an exclusive new online travel booking solution built on Amadeus e-Travel Management technology.

The flagship corporate self-booking tool, Amadeus e-Travel Management was upgraded twice in the first six months of the year; the solution now provides wider choice, more flexibility, increased cost savings and improved presentation of onscreen data for a smoother, more-informed and faster booking process.

Amadeus announced the development of direct connects between e-Travel Management and Avis and Europcar, combining the best of the direct connect model with the back-up of the travel management company. Amadeus also added the Madrid-Barcelona Puente Aereo air shuttle, SAS Travelpass cards, and Finnair multifly.ecards, for all ticketless travel on Finnair e-ticket routes in Europe.

Amadeus’ corporate travel management division gained the Cybertrust Security Management Programme (SMP) Certification.


Opodo began the year by launching its own branded website in Italy, www.opodo.it, bringing the number of European markets in which it now operates in to nine. The site continues to go from strength to strength and has recently been voted the best online travel site in Italy by Computer Bild Magazine. The Nordic market has experienced exceptionally strong growth, with sales up 60% year to date on the previous year.

Enhancements continue to be made to the hotel service with sales up 50% year on year. A new insurance deal was entered into with AIG and in air sales Opodo has maintained its number two position across Europe. In May the company launched its own bespoke Dynamic Packaging Solution across its UK, French, German and Italian sites.

Karavel, the French tour operating business, has expanded to include regional departures and new destinations with sales up 30% year-on-year while Vivacances has increased sales by 80% year-to-date compared with the same period last year.

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