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TORONTO — WestJet’s new multi-year agreement with Amadeus comes as the carrier gears up for international expansion, with new destinations on the horizon and more interline agreements designed to expand its global footprint.
Under the new agreement Amadeus subscribers worldwide get continued access via the Amadeus GDS to WestJet content. The agreement also provides continued access to the carrier’s ancillary offerings including options such as seat selection, baggage and priority boarding.
“As WestJet evolves as a global carrier, our new agreement with Amadeus will enable us to grow and deliver on the needs of travellers and travel professionals wherever they are located,” said WestJet’s Executive Vice-President, Commercial, Ed Sims.
WestJet recently announced the purchase of up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Last month WestJet confirmed that it is looking to add China flights, filing for regulatory approval with Transport Canada. According to reports WestJet has crunched the numbers on some 70 worldwide destinations, including more cities in Europe beyond the routes it already serves, as well as destinations in the South Pacific. Future options on the table for Europe reportedly include Amsterdam and Rome, and in the South Pacific, Tahiti and Fiji.
Scott Alvis, Chief Marketing Officer, Amadeus North America, says WestJet “believes in the value of a multi-channel strategy where travel agents and travellers can count on having access to the broadest range of their content and services.”
Earlier this year Alvis said that content is king when it comes to providing travel agents with the best booking solutions via GDS. “We have done a lot of work to make sure we are getting those ancillaries into the platform, for example, seat upgrades and baggage fees. Close to 80% of all airlines booking in the system have ancillaries that could be booked with them.”
He added: “We want our Points-of-Sale to serve that traveller as best as possible. We want to make sure we’ve got all that ancillary content, all the fare family content, available to the travel agents. So far we’ve been able to do that at a very nice pace.”
WestJet recently evolved its merchandising approach using Amadeus’ ancillary technologies, added Alvis. In 2016 the airline implemented Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, which enables travel agents to book add-on services, as well as Amadeus Airline Fare Families, making its Econo, Flex, Plus Lowest and Plus Flexible bundled fare options available. “This enables travel professionals to best serve their customers by proposing the WestJet fares and options that best match traveller preferences.”