Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, and Germanwings, one of the most successful low cost airlines in Europe, announce today the launch of a new distribution solution that will enable Germanwings to offer travel agencies more flexible travel options as well as comprehensive ticketing services fully integrated with their mid and back-office systems. The Amadeus solution enables Germanwings to issue tickets on Lufthansa’s ticket stock and start interlining with the full service carrier. By collaborating with Lufthansa in this way, Germanwings avoids the complex accounting, multiple IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP)* contracts and servicing which are usually a requirement for ticketed distribution.
Amadeus is uniquely able to offer this solution thanks to its common IT platform which is shared by travel agents and airlines for all their pricing, availability and PNR (Passenger Name Record) management. Amadeus provides a distribution layer that processes all Germanwings bookings made by travel agents and link to Lufthansa’s ticketing server. This technology model is possible thanks to Germanwings’ recent agreement with Lufthansa that will act as a sales agent and validating carrier (or issuing carrier) for the low cost airline.
From the end of January, travel agents have been able to book combined Germanwings and Lufthansa’s flights. For example, they are able to book an outward journey with Germanwings and a Lufthansa return flight and issue a single ticket. The Amadeus solution will also enable travel agents to carry out post-sales trip changes for all Germanwings flights.
“We expect that by improving our content and adapting to travel agencies’ modus operandi we will be able to grow our sales in this channel,” commented Ognjen Zeric, Vice President E-Commerce & Sales, Germanwings. “We also want to target business travellers with a more comprehensive post-sales services that will adapt to their needs.”
In addition to published fares, travel agency customers are able to buy a Germanwings flexible fare that is refundable and includes free trip changes, as well as negotiated fares with corporations. All fares distributed through the Amadeus system include an on-board snack and drink as well as 20 kg free checked baggage with an unlimited number of pieces.
The booking and ticketing process is seamlessly integrated into the travel agent’s workflow and mid and back-office systems. This results in significant time and cost savings for the travel agent. For example, data transfer to billing reports and credit card statements or calculation of services fees, amongst other administrative tasks, are automated.
David Doctor, Director, Airline and Travel Agency Distribution, Amadeus commented, “When low-cost carriers move to a ticketing solution they see a very significant increase in travel agency bookings. However, the additional complexity associated with the ticketing model is incompatible with many low-cost business models. For Germanwings we leveraged the architecture of our common IT platform shared by travel agencies and airlines to deliver the full benefits of ticketed distribution without the attendant complexity. Our architecture is unique in the industry and it is thanks to the flexibility of its open systems technology that we can provide this solution for Germanwings.”
Less than 12 months after Vueling adopted a full ticketing model with Amadeus, travel agency bookings represented over 18% of the airline’s total ticket yield.
Over 60 low cost carriers are now bookable within the Amadeus system, including AirAsia, easyJet and Transavia. Low-cost carrier bookings made on Amadeus in the first 9 months of 2010 grew by 35% compared with the same period in 2009.