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Amadeus in tune with AACO

Posted 9 August 2018 · Add Comment

Fifteen MENA region airlines have signed a 10-year framework agreement with global merchandising company, Amadeus, for innovative distribution services. Vincent Chappard and Anuradha Deenapanray report.

The Arab Air Carriers Association (AACO) has negotiated a new deal with Amadeus, a technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry.
The 15 airlines covered by the deal flew 110 million passengers in 2016. They will serve more than 1 billion passengers during the lifetime of the contract.
Working together with Amadeus, they will explore how they can further develop and maximise the potential of its travel agency network, including enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities.
The framework deal came about because there’s a need for ongoing technological innovation and improved skills to drive global travel volumes – particularly when faced by geopolitical and security issues.
In addition, booking of core travel elements needs to be made more straightforward and efficient through a better interconnectivity of different travel modes and services.
Digitalised services are an essential solution to gain a more competitive edge. Airlines have to look at their home markets and their distribution worldwide to respond efficiently to the whole ecosystem.
AACO secretary general, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, said: “This efficient, long-term agreement with Amadeus represents a landmark for a number of members, giving them a technology partner dedicated to supporting new business strategies.”
Amadeus has recently obtained its International Air Transport Association (IATA) new distribution capability (NDC) certification. It has done extensive work on the IATA one order standard, which aims to standardise the communication between airline order management, revenue accounting and delivery providers.
Amadeus will, thus, equip participating AACO airlines with tools to pursue the right distribution strategy to meet their individual business goals.
“For the participating AACO members, the partnership will drive economies of scale, technological efficiencies and support the airlines’ vision for distribution in the future,” said
Maher Koubaa, Amadeus VP head of airline group Middle East and Africa.
“Whether their focus is on providing travellers with a premium product, capitalising on the region as a hub between Asia and Europe, or pursuing a partnership approach, airlines see the value in an omnichannel distribution strategy to maximise their sales with travellers across the world.”
Koubaa stressed that partnership and cooperation are key elements for Amadeus to improve passenger experience, enhance the brand activity and maximise revenues of airlines. “As a technology provider and a customer-centric organisation, we not only serve our clients but drive their businesses as their partners,” he explained.
“The whole industry is moving toward a more integrated system. We want to be at the heart of that trend. Technology is of the utmost importance and partnership is the way forward. That’s why we are promoting synergies to satisfy airlines and passengers.”
Amadeus is also creating competency centres to support airline activities.
Booking remains a main challenge for Amadeus as customer experience is becoming more and more embedded in the industry. It is working on a hybrid system to provide booking facilities for both business aviation and commercial bookings.
The AACO agreement comes at a time when traffic is growing more and more from west to east. Amadeus wants to power this shift.
“The airlines in this vibrant region are preparing themselves to face the growing challenges and competition as the travel industry continues to outstrip world GDP growth. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future,” said Koubaa.
After three decades in business, Amadeus continues to invest in its platforms, ensuring that they are capable of delivering the flexible shopping experience demanded by modern travellers and its customers around the world.
With 46 airlines and 1.3 billion passengers boarded in 2016 Amadeus, which has a presence in more than 190 countries, shows that the “indirect distribution model is a powerful and efficient tool”.
 

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