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Amadeus unveils Airline Retailing Platform

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Friday, 4 April 2008

Amadeus today unveiled its new Airline Retailing Platform. The new platform will transform the companys global distribution system from a purely distribution channel to a retailing platform through which airlines can also access and leverage functionality to clearly differentiate their brand as in their direct distribution channels.

The Airline Retailing Platform is a major milestone in the evolution of indirect distribution as it will allow airlines to act like true retailers in one of their most vital channels, said Frederic Spagnou, Vice President, Airline Business Group, Amadeus.

Developed in collaboration with major carriers across the globe, the Amadeus Airline Retailing Platform is designed to offer the best of the GDS world and the best of the online channel. That is, all the traditional strengths of GDS - global reach and higher value sales - combined with all the efficiency, target marketing and brand differentiation opportunities offered by the airlines online sales channels.

The new platform, which will be rolled out in phases over the next two years, brings significant enhancements in three key areas:

- a range of airline merchandising features to the travel agents desktop - including fares packaging, up-sell, displaying of product characteristics and advertising capabilities. This enables airlines to maximise their selling opportunities beyond simple price and route differentiation

- new functionality to ensure airline products are sold in compliance with their distinct commercial policies and to guarantee revenue integrity

- a management graphical user interface, through which airlines can manage their distribution set-up through all the Amadeus points of sale. This enables real-time, standardised business rule deployment, increasing the speed of implementation of new functionality and business policies in the channel.

It is increasingly vital that we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and compete on value rather than on price alone, Jose Arribas, Vice President, Commercial and Logistics, Iberia said. By including the type of intuitive functionality we use online, we significantly enhance our ability to strengthen our brand not only directly with customers but also through the travel agency channel which is still a key part of our sales structure. Further, combining the best elements of direct and indirect distribution for the first time provides us with the ability to sell our value in the indirect channel.

The Airline Retailing Platform should also deliver significant benefits for travel agencies worldwide.

Bill Brindle, Director, Business Technology and Distribution, Hogg Robinson, said, The core priority for us is to ensure that our travel consultants have the know-how, the tools and range of travel products to help deliver a good service to clients. The new functionality, integrated with Hogg Robinson Groups new point-of-sale business architecture, offers them the added ability to easily compare products and highlight additional services and alternatives to the traveller, using standardised processes.

Amadeus, which has over 360,500 points of sales in over 217 markets, generated 537.9m million bookings in 2007 which equates to EUR 51.91bn of revenue for airlines through the travel agency channel.

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