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“One system, one application, full integration”: Amadeus

Friday, April 20, 2018
“One system, one application, full integration”: Amadeus

Elena Avila, Executive Vice President, Americas, Airlines at Amadeus

What is the Amadeus difference? A true global platform with plenty of opportunities for growth in the Canadian travel agency market, says Elena Avila, Executive Vice President, Americas, Airlines at Amadeus in this edition of Friday 5.

1. A new travel agency is looking at the different GDS options, or maybe an established agency is looking to make a switch. What sets Amadeus apart?

“We have created a true global travel platform that leverages the benefits of the community needs enhanced by customized development to meet our customers’ specific wants. With Amadeus, travel agencies have access to not only the widest range of content from GDS or direct to suppliers, they also get one system and one application with full integration to provide the best experience all along the trip.

“For example, by using our Single Passenger Name Record (PNR) system, travel consultants and airlines all share the same PNR, so changes (such as schedule updates) are immediately visible for all to see. A completely transparent itinerary ensures that if customers make changes directly with the airline, you’ll know about them in real time.

“Amadeus is working with several airlines to define a solution that gives travel agents access to travel content using the NDC standard. The NDC-X program will bring together experts from across Amadeus’ business, and will focus on practical use cases of the standard, adopting a test and learn approach to deliver improved capabilities for the industry.”

2. What do today’s airline travellers really value when booking a flight?

“There are three main things travellers consider when planning/purchasing a trip: product, service and convenience. For example, based on our research, 31% of travellers say the convenience of flight time and departure airport is the most important variable. It’s also true however that, if unable to compare based on these attributes – and our research indicates that only 14% of travellers find it easy to compare airline offers based on attributes other than price – they will chose the cheapest option.

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“Indeed, choices can be overwhelming as travellers search for flights. Also, what travellers value changes depending on the context of their trip. And the way flights are purchased continues to change as online shopping continues to grow.

“The good news is that all of the above provides an opportunity for airlines to present their offers in news ways that move beyond price, leveraging data to provide a more personalized offer that improves conversion, satisfaction, and brand loyalty.”

3. Amadeus is focusing on North America as a major opportunity for market share. How has Amadeus’ market share in Canada grown over the past few years and is there still room for growth?

“North America is indeed a growth region for Amadeus, both in terms of the opportunity but also in terms of the investment in the region. And this is true both for our Airlines and Travel Channels business. Today, we have 2,100 employees and 12 offices serving our customers in the U.S. and Canada.

“Specifically for Canada, Amadeus has strong partnerships with the leading Canadian airlines and we see plenty of opportunity to further deepen these relationships and expand in this market. Amadeus has agreements in place with Air Canada, WestJet, Porter, Air Transat and Sunwing.

“For Air Canada, the carrier recently announced their plans to use the entire Amadeus Altéa Suite passenger service system, including reservations, inventory and departure control solutions. Customer experience (by delivering consistent and personalized customer service) and increased efficiencies were at the heart of their decision to switch to Altea.

4. What stage is Amadeus at with IATA’s NDC initiative and how is it moving forward in 2018?

“Amadeus was the first technology company to receive IATA NDC level three certification as an IT provider. As an aggregator, Amadeus is committed to becoming NDC level three certified this year, with the first fully scalable version of the NDC product available in 2019.

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“In order for NDC to truly take off, the industry needs to create a standard not only for the protocol itself, but also for how it’s implemented. We need to ensure that it responds to travel seller requirements, and that it has the right economics to drive investment.

“This year, Amadeus created the NDC-X program, an initiative dedicated to driving the industrialization and global deployment of NDC and ensure its success for all travel players. The NDC-X program brings together experts from across Amadeus’ business, and will focus on practical use cases of IATA’s NDC standard, in a test and learn approach, in order to deliver improved capabilities for the industry.

“We aim to create better journeys for travelers through the use of technology, and NDC-X program will work with our airline and travel seller customers to deliver on that premise.”

5. How is Amadeus keeping its booking platforms current with market trends? (eg. Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, Amadeus Fare Families, etc.)

“Amadeus is committed to R&D as we continue to build the open and connected travel platform that creates the best journeys for travelers. Each year, we invest, on average, 16% of our total annual revenues in R&D. Our entire platform runs on open systems. We aim to create the best traveller journeys in one single platform, so that we can be relevant and present where the travellers are, including on mobile and tablet devices and within their everyday office applications.”

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