- Amadeus IT Group
company_name = Amadeus IT Group SA | company_
company_slogan = Your technology partner
foundation = (
José Antonio Tazón, President and CEO
num_employees = 7663
revenue = 2,682.8 Million Euro (2006)
homepage = [http://www.amadeus.com/ www.amadeus.com]
Amadeus IT Group specialises in travel technology solutions to facilitate the distribution and sale of
airline, train, cruise ship, rental car, hoteland other travel services. The traditional core of its business is the Amadeus Global Distribution System ( GDS); more recently the company has tried to reposition itself as an IT partner for the travel and tourism industries, offering e-commerce and IT services in addition to its distribution business.
Through Amadeus over 94,000 travel agencies and over 32,000 airline sales offices around the world are able to make bookings with travel providers.
Around 8,300 people work for Amadeus worldwide in its principal locations and ACOs. The company is multi-cultural with some 95 nationalities working in Amadeus sites worldwide. Headquarters are located in Madrid, Spain.
Other major offices are in Sophia Antipolis, France, as well as in Miami, USA and Erding, Germany. There are also IT services centres in London, UK and Sydney, Australia.
Amadeus customers include:
* BCD Travel
Hogg Robinson Group
* 498 airlines.
* 77,000 hotel properties, 254 hotel chains
* 22 car rental companies, serving over 36,000 locations
* 106 rail providers
* 200 tour operators
* 82 insurance providers in 50 countries
* 17 Cruise lines
Amadeus has subscribers in 217 markets worldwide. There are more than 65 Amadeus Commercial Organizations (ACOs), which offer localized solutions for marketing, customer services, account management and other customer support functions.
Product Overview and examples
Distribution & Content:
These products aggregate and provide comprehensive content to travel sellers together with the means to optimize travel providers’ distribution through an extensive point of-sale network. Amadeus products within this category include:
*Amadeus Electronic Ticketing
*Amadeus Automated Airline Published Fares
*Amadeus XML Fare Data Interface
*Amadeus Global Sales Portfolio
*Amadeus Revenue Maximisation Portfolio
Sales & E-Commerce:
Multi-channel travel technology designed to facilitate online and offline sales whilst improving travel agency workflows, profitability and customer service. Amadeus products within this category include:
*Amadeus Selling Platform
*Amadeus e-Travel Management (employs
XX/1's multi- GDS functionality)
*Amadeus Business Travel Portal
*Amadeus Altéa Reservation
*Amadeus e-Merchandise Solution
Amadeus solutions designed to optimize business operations, processes and administration. Amadeus products within this category include:
*Amadeus Quality Control
*Amadeus Customer Profiles
*Amadeus Travel Preferences Manager
*Amadeus Agency Manager
*Altéa Customer Management Solution
Services & Consulting:
These service-oriented solutions are marketed as enabling customers the opportunity to leverage the full value of their business processes and IT investments. Amadeus solutions within this category include:
*Training (online, remote learning and classroom based courses)
Amadeus was founded in 1987 as a
Global Distribution System(GDS) company by Air France, Lufthansa, Iberiaand SAS.
Throughout the 1990s Amadeus opened ACOs and regional offices around the world, acquired US based System One
GDS, and created an online presence. All its products and services were designed for both leisure and corporate travel:
*Booking solutions specific to car, hotel, and flight bookings
*Solutions for business travel management for corporations
*A travel booking website complete with all kinds of destination information for the traveller
By 2000, Amadeus received quality certification (
ISO9001:2000) from the International Organisation for Standardisation ( ISO) – the first GDS company to do so.
The turn of the century saw partnerships with several airlines as well as important acquisitions of specialist companies.
British Airwaysand Finnaircontracted Amadeus' Airline IT Services as did Qantas Airwayswho demonstrated its confidence in Amadeus by signing a ten-year agreement. In addition, major corporations and travel suppliers were queuing for Amadeus' technology solutions for:
*Sales, reservations, and e-ticketing systems
*Corporate self-booking tools
*Customer Management solutions for airlines
Amadeus kept on strengthening its portfolio with acquisitions such as:
*SMART AB, the leading travel distribution company in Northern Europe
*Vacation.com, the largest US marketing network for leisure travel
*E-Travel, Inc., a leading supplier of hosted technology products for corporate travel
Over the past four years, Amadeus e-Ticketing has been implemented by 192 airlines – at an average rate of six carrier implementations per month. Today, more than 70% of all airline tickets issued through Amadeus are already electronic.
Qantas Airwaysbecame the first airline to roll out the Flight Management – weight and balance – component of the Amadeus Altéa Departure Control System. It enables the airline to reduce preparation time while also increasing the cargo capacity of its aircraft.
In October Amadeus opened a Solutions Centre in
Bogotá, Colombia. It will support all software development and operations across the Latin American region.
Nearly 7,600 people now work for Amadeus around the world in about 217 markets.
The company’s name is officially changed from Amadeus Global Travel SA to Amadeus IT Group SA.
European Commissionannounces that Amadeus is the leading European travel and tourism company in terms of the level of R&D investment and Amadeus announces the creation of an Innovation Department at the Sophia Antipolissite.
Amadeus continues to expand its technology to provide distribution and travel content to online industry leaders, such as
Expedia. Due to its low fare search technology and full content agreements with leading airlines, Amadeus has become a partner of choice for online travel agencies to help them better meet the needs of their customers worldwide.
Meanwhile, Amadeus completes the acquisition of TravelTainment, a tour booking engine technology provider in the German leisure travel market. It is at the forefront of online leisure selling thanks to sophisticated pricing, search and dynamic packaging technology as well as its rich content tools for the business-to-consumer travel market.
In other developments, Amadeus signs a global technology and distribution partnership with
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service linking the UK with mainland Europe, and a major global technology deal with AccessRail to enable rail e-ticketing.
Amadeus launches Amadeus Meta Pricer to deliver quality global air content to travel search engines (meta search engines) while helping airlines to cost-efficiently maximise their distribution.
During the last few years, Amadeus has been establishing its Airline IT business alongside it traditional GDS activities.
Thanks to the successful migrations of
British Airwaysand Qantasto new generation Altéa Inventory applications and the introduction to the airline industry of a full customer managementsolution to replace legacy passenger service systems, Amadeus is increasingly seen as a technology partner to the world’s leading travel providers.
The company launches a new tagline ‘your technology partner’, a new corporate website and its first ever external brand awareness initiative in the form of a global advertising campaign.
In a deal that reinforces the strength of its new brand positioning, Amadeus wins a major contract to build a common IT platform for the
Star Alliance. In terms of airline passenger service systems, this contract is widely referred to in the industry as the deal of the century.
The Common IT Platform is initially being developed for
United Airlinesand Lufthansa. But other airlines within the alliance will also join the community platform later. It will improve integration between the members in areas such as code sharing, customer profiles and business rules.
Leveraged Buyout(LBO) sees the company being acquired by private equity investors BC Partnersand Cinven. Their successful joint bid offering of €7.35 per Amadeus common share represents a premium of 49% over the last trading day before it was announced that Amadeus had received interest from buyers. The proposed purchase price takes the total transaction deal to over €4,330 million, making it Spain’s largest LBO to date and one of the biggest in European history.
Amadeus introduces an innovative new pricing system for the GDS industry – the
value based pricingscheme. In the new structure, a booking is valued as standard or premium, depending on the worth of the reservation to the airline and the value added by Amadeus.
Amadeus Master Pricer is also launched. It is the first low-fare search tool for online travel agencies, and offers cheaper fare and extended shopping capabilities. The tool, which returns over 200 low-fare search options from a single query, brings unprecedented speed and flexibility to an online portal.
Amadeus acquires Optims, the leading European supplier of IT services for the hotel industry. This move helps to secure and enhance Amadeus’ hotel distribution solutions for travel agents and the e-commerce sector.
shareholdersannounce an initiative to sell the company through a Leveraged Buyout(LBO). The owner airlines invite 10 private equity firmsto compete for the opportunity to bid on the LBO.
The company also acquires the French national marketing company as part of its commercial restructuring initiative.
Qantasmakes a successful cutover to Amadeus Altéa Inventory.
Despite difficult times for international travel, Amadeus is able to increase its market share of travel agency air bookings in almost all regions while further expanding its presence in the
The Amadeus central system now contains over 23 million active
PNRs and handles nearly 2,500 transactions a second – reliably and securely.
In the online arena, Amadeus continues to power the websites of many of the key players within the global travel industry – including bmi in the UK,
Qantasin Australia and lastminute.com.
After a period of steady growth, Amadeus decides to streamline the set of products it operates in the travel office packages and platforms arena. A new Travel Office Product and Solutions business unit is created to effectively develop and manage the existing Amadeus portfolio of products and services. These cover front, mid and
back officeapplications and all products related to these areas, such as portals and document printing, providing full point of sale solutions for travel office customers.
In the US, Amadeus also acquires Airline Automation Inc., a leading provider of revenue integrity services for the airline industry. It currently services more than 55% of US domestic reservations, including those of American Airlines, Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines.
As part of a continuing focus on profitable
e-commerceopportunities, Amadeus launched an innovative global business unit for online travel solutions. The new e-travel organisation, which took its name from the US-based company Amadeus acquired the year before, was created to deliver a portfolio of online solutions to airlines, corporations, travel agencies and other travel providers worldwide.
Designed to cater to the needs of both business and leisure travellers and their providers in an increasingly connected world, e-Travel would provide an integrated approach to Amadeus’ online business, delivering the same high levels of choice, flexibility and value across both corporate and consumer markets.
Amadeus witnessed another significant step forward in its global development as first
British Airwaysand then Qantasbecame full Amadeus system users.
The success of the project was not only a significant step forward in the creation of new generation inventory and departure control systems for these two respected airlines but also confirmed Amadeus’ position in the Airline technology marketplace.
Recognising the fundamental role of its national marketing companies (NMCs) in the success of its ‘
think global, act local’ philosophy, Amadeus started integrating them into the group in order to optimise cross-border relationships with customers such as multinational travel agency groups and large corporations.
In July, Amadeus announced the acquisition of SMART, the NMC for Scandinavia, Latvia and Lithuania. Five months later, it also acquired START Amadeus, the German NMC.
Amadeus was making further progress in the creation of an IT services division following the successful transition of
British Airways’ passenger management systems to the Amadeus data centre in Erding. The migration was part of its 10-year agreement to develop the inventory and departure control systems for the airline.
To support its partnership with
Qantas, Amadeus launched a development site at the Sydney Centre in Australia.
Meanwhile, it started to develop the Amadeus Altéa Customer Management Solution (CMS) – the first new generation IT platform for the airline industry for 30 years. This completely new solution would allow Amadeus airline customers to optimise every aspect of their business operations and customer management activity.
ISO9002 certification experience as a process template, Amadeus became the first GDS to receive the ISO9001:2000 internationally recognised accreditation that deals with the successful management of quality practices.
In the United States, Amadeus announced the acquisition of e-travel, a leading supplier of hosted corporate travel technology solutions to a blue-chip customer base. The move enabled Amadeus to offer corporate travel managers a more extensive range of solutions.
Almost 10 years after the creation of the first
PNR, the Amadeus central system was able to process up to approximately 1.6 million net bookings every day. These reservations were made by both travel agencies using the GDS and individual travellers through travel websites powered by Amadeus.
In January, Amadeus launched a browser-based reservation tool called AmadeusPro Web. It was a solution that enabled smaller travel agencies to enhance customer service by using Internet technology, but without the need for a dedicated communications line.
Amadeus also revealed details about project Vista, the code name for a new browser-based product featuring Internet and
TCP/IPconnectivity. This would replace the AmadeusPro travel agency management system that travel agencies had been using since 1991.
In Europe, Amadeus set up joint venture travel websites on a regional level. It signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Terra Networks, the e-commerce subsidiary of
Telefónica, to establish an e-travel website targeting the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. This would later be called Rumbo. In Italy, Amadeus partnered with Gruppo L’Espresso, the countries largest newspaper publisher, to establish an e-commercetravel website targeted at the Italian population. The eviaggi.com site went live on 31st of March.
Meanwhile, British Airways and Qantas selected Amadeus as their IT partner to maintain and develop their reservation, inventory and departure control systems (DCS). They would become the first Amadeus Altéa customers.
As a consequence of these contracts, Amadeus immediately opened a support and development site near London’s Heathrow Airport and announced plans to open another in Sydney, Australia.
The opening of these London and Sydney offices reflected a new commercial structure within Amadeus, with centres of excellence located close to its major customers.
The event also marked a key moment in Amadeus’ evolution, which leads the company to establish a new business called Airline IT.
Around 80 airline and 3,000 travel agency websites used Amadeus
e-commercesoftware and the Amadeus GDS.
Amadeus launched Amadeus
e-TicketServer, the world’s first neutral electronic ticketing solution. It enabled carriers of any size to implement electronic ticketing.
Continuing to diversify into new areas, Amadeus launched a new multi-provider travel insurance and assistance service. Amadeus Travel Assistance allowed travel agents to create and book travel insurance packages for their customers.
Amadeus announced an
initial Public Offering(IPO) in October. The initial price of Amadeus stock was €5.75 per share. In December, Amadeus entered the IBEX 35, which represented Spain’s top 35 listed companies, ranked by market capitalisation, trading volume and free float value. By the end of the year, the company was listed on the Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Frankfurt stock exchanges.
Meanwhile, the Amadeus Executive Briefing Centre (EBC) opened in Sophia Antipolis. The 1,600m2 EBC was designed to create a permanent environment in which customers could experience Amadeus technology solutions and engage in open discussions with travel IT experts.
On 24th of March, at 2.48am EST, the System One computer reservation system in the US became history as technicians switched it off in Charlotte, North Carolina. All System One customers were then connected to Amadeus, which became the world’s largest
global distribution system. This marked the completion of the largest migration in the history of the travel industry of the time.
183,000 travel agency and airline sales office terminals worldwide were then connected to Amadeus.
Amadeus acquired ICSA-T, a leading supplier of software solutions for the travel industry, which specialised in mid and back office applications for medium to large travel agencies.
Meanwhile, Amadeus became the first GDS to be awarded
ISO9002 certification, which covered customer support and data management services.
Amadeus launched its Follow The Sun initiative. Responsibility for continuous customer support was assumed by each of three strategically located centres around the world – in
Sophia Antipolisand Bangkok – as the sun goes down in one part of the world and rises in another.
Ten years after its creation, Amadeus was the leader in travel agency locations worldwide and was truly global, now that the System One agencies were being consolidated into the Amadeus network.
Reflecting its international presence, 1,300 people from 45 different nationalities were then employed centrally by Amadeus, which operated in 119 markets.
Technology was a major factor in its competitive positioning. The Amadeus central reservation system was subject to continuous updates and improvements. It was being re-designed around high speed open application servers. This provided the system with greater flexibility and the ability to increase capacity as demand increases.
Amadeus created a specific department to deal with product and service quality.
In Barcelona, Amadeus hosted its fourth customer conference. The Mosaic conference was attended by 2,500 delegates, travel agents and Amadeus air, hotel, car rental, rail, ferry, cruise and tour operators, as well as third party suppliers and travel industry experts. Highlights of the event included keynote speeches from representatives of
The London School of Economicsand Microsoft, as well as the chairman of EasyJet.
Amadeus started making inroads on the Internet. It created a website for travellers – [http://www.amadeus.net] - offering consumers the opportunity to find out more about airline availability and destination information.
The company created a special unit to research and develop additional online application services. While some of Amadeus’ competitors were investing in online consumer travel agencies, Amadeus elected to develop
B2Bonline technology to drive the consumer sites of its own customers.
In mainland Europe, national marketing company Amadeus Belgium introduced AmadeusPro Tempo – the new Windows version of AmadeusPro – to the local market.
Amadeus was adding about 9,000 travel agencies across North, Central and South America, the Pacific Basin, Australia and New Zealand to its customer base by acquiring System One from Continental Airlines.
System One was one of the pioneers of the big American information management systems and the system on which Amadeus was originally based.The acquisition allowed Amadeus to secure a foothold in the North American region and it became the leading global distribution system in terms of travel agency locations worldwide.
System One customers would be transitioned gradually to Amadeus during the next two years – a migration project known as Unison.
The System One organisation, which was based in Houston and Miami, would become an Amadeus national marketing company owned in equal parts by Continental Airlines, EDS and Amadeus.
Amadeus announced the opening of an Amadeus Asia Pacific office. It helped to strengthen existing local partnerships and supports Amadeus’ expansion in the APAC region.
102,000 travel agency and airline sales office terminals were then connected to Amadeus.
Amadeus had a growing network of autonomous and locally focused national marketing companies, which continued to encourage travel agency migration to the Amadeus GDS.
Following the launch of the NMC in India the year before, Amadeus became the first active computerised reservation system on the Indian sub-continent. It was used by 35 travel agencies in New Delhi and Bombay, and more Amadeus terminals were being installed in an additional 100 travel agencies.
Austrian Airlinesbecame the 100th Amadeus Access carrier, using Amadeus Access connectivity to sell its flights through the 47,500 travel agencies and 34,500 airline sales offices that were then connected to Amadeus worldwide.
Amadeus signed a distribution agreement with
SNCF, the French state railway company, which was the first significant development in selling rail solutions alongside airline products through one and the same system.
60% of European travel agencies were then connected to the Amadeus Central System. It was one of the largest training and migration exercises in the history of
electronic data processing.
Each national marketing company (NMC) and national computer reservation system operator was given the freedom to structure the local migration in a way that was most suitable for its own market or user group. Some markets opted to migrate slowly, others switched overnight.
The operation saw thousands of terminals being connected to the Amadeus data centre and eventually disconnected from the national reservation systems that they have been working on for years.
Amadeus was awarded Gold in the Top CRS category at the European Travel Awards. The award was based on feedback from travel agencies in 16 European countries.
The first booking was processed in Erding. The itinerary Madrid-Nice-Paris-Zagreb-Copenhagen-London-Hamburg-Milan using
Iberia, Air France, SASand Lufthansaflights was booked for Mr Wolfgang Amadeus, priced using Amadeus Fare Quote and then ticketed.
Amadeus CEO, José Antonio Tazón, announced that the creation of this first
PNR“confirms the expertise, resourcefulness, initiative and innovative ability of all Amadeus staff to carry out one of the most complex commercial and technical developments in the travel industry of the last decade”.
Less than a month after the implementation of the first travel agency pilot sites for the new Amadeus
GDS, full migration was moving forward on schedule.
About 16,000 terminals located in the sales offices of
Air France, Iberiaand Lufthansain 120 countries switched to using the Amadeus central system.
Amadeus had then assumed responsibility for the project management of the new
GDSfrom IBMand pre-production testing was being performed for the complete system ahead of its scheduled launch the year after. This included checking that the data communication network was ready for full operation.
SASwas no longer an Amadeus shareholder, as a partner airline it committed to connect Scandinavian travel agencies and its own ticket offices to the Amadeus system.
Meanwhile, Amadeus released its Air Availability and schedules product line, which also included Direct Access and the Fare Quote system, as well as an integrated link to the inventories of a first group of 13 airlines – known as Amadeus System Users. This ensured immediate display of flight operation changes and real-time availability information for those carriers.
Amadeus Air was being rolled out globally from the data centre in Erding. This was then linked to 45,000 terminals in airline ticket offices and travel agencies around the world. This network constituted Europe’s largest electronic travel distribution system, while also serving markets in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia.
Amadeus officially launched AmadeusPro, its PC-based travel agency management system, offering travel agency customers user-friendly interfaces to the Amadeus central system and products.
Amadeus has now reached a total of 200 participating airline contracts, in advance of having the system in production.
Amadeus had roughly 550 employees representing 38 nationalities in its central sites. In
Frankfurt, the first travel agents were connected to AmadeusPro. They would pilot and test the system exhaustively in a live environment before its implementation elsewhere.
A celebration took place to mark the opening on 18 January of the
Erdingdata centre, which had cost US $ 100 million to build and another US $ 100 million to equip.
It was (and is still to date) Europe’s largest non-military
data processingcentre, combining office space with a series of independent computer processes. Equipment was symmetrically distributed over six separate computer rooms (which also acted as fire cells). This provided Amadeus with redundant facilities, so that the system had sufficient capacity to continue operating within normal parameters in the event that any one of the computer rooms had to be shut down.
Housed in a unique structure – the design of which was based on the
Pentagon– the data centre operated 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and boasted an infrastructure that could meet the highest operational and security standards, with sophisticated data transfer and back-up systems. With 99.8% availability, it had an average response time of less than 0.3 seconds.
Sabre (computer system)signed an agreement outlining wide-ranging co-operation between the two companies, including access to both systems, joint marketing and development. The deal would offer a joint product worldwide to respond to the increasing demand of travel agencies and travel service suppliers for effective global electronic distribution. However, it never came to fruition.
Amadeus launched AmadeusPro, which would allow travel agents to access national reservation systems and book standard flights, cars and hotel reservations. It was the first time that agents’ screens could display neutral availability for all the flights operated by the different airlines, in line with European regulations. It could be achieved using a single workstation on the agent’s desk.
Thai AirwaysInternational became Amadeus’ first Asian partner. A further seven airlines became Amadeus system users, joining the four founding carriers.
Back in Europe, Amadeus launched new national marketing companies in Belgium and Scandinavia. Amadeus Belgium was the first NMC to be opened outside a country in which an Amadeus partner Airline was based.
Meanwhile, Amadeus became the first European computer reservation system to have a product on the market for airlines. Amadeus Direct Access was launched in Spain, closely followed by roll-out of the solution to travel agents in France, Germany, and Scandinavia. Bookings were made via a temporary IBM server linking to existing local systems.
A new European Code of Conduct for GDS operators stipulates that all airlines (including
GDSowners) should access the distribution functions of a GDSthrough the same type of interface on a non discriminatory distribution to all airlines since its inception.
The first Amadeus national marketing company (NMC) was opened in Finland. Soon after
Finnairdecided to join the Amadeus network. NMCs were also set up in Austria and France. Meanwhile, agreements were signed with Air France and Unisys to develop the Fare Quote system. In Sophia Antipolisnear Nice, The Amadeus software development centre was inaugurated, having been created in seven months. The Erdingdata centre was started in Germany.
Miami, more experts had been drafted in to support the project. Hundreds of individuals were dedicated to defining requirements and writing specifications for the new Amadeus GDS. It was being designed so that each partner airline would use Amadeus as its own reservation system (System User concept).
Amadeus was the first European company to introduce and use the
European Currency Unit(ECU), which was used as the pricing unit in Amadeus’ participating carrier and service provider agreements.
Four European airlines decided to merge their own computer reservation systems to create a new European
global distribution system. Air France, Iberia, Lufthansaand SASjoined forces to create Amadeus, with a combined investment of almost $300 million. Amadeus used the application software of an existing U.S. reservation system called System One as the base on which its new system would be built. Computer hardware and operating system software were developed by IBM, which would also provide systems integration support on a Europe-wide basis.
* [http://www.amadeus.com/amadeus/amadeus.html Company website]
* [http://www.amadeus.com/amadeus/x5035.xml Company Media Centre]
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