Eurostar and Amadeus have confirmed that Eurostar will soon be arriving directly on agents’ booking screens alongside the short-haul airlines. Eurostar is currently available in the US, and will be available in the UK in early 2007. In the near future, Eurostar will extend the agreement to additional markets, allowing more users to access its inventory.
Eurostar has linked up with Amadeus to develop the Eurostar GDS Gateway. Amadeus will be the IT provider of the gateway, facilitating content between Eurostar and users such as agencies, corporations and individuals, either through Amadeus or through other GDSs. This will allow Eurostar to be distributed globally by all major GDSs (Amadeus, Galileo, Worldspan, Sabre, Abacus, Axess and Infini).
Travel Management Companies, and other users, will now be able to make direct Eurostar-air price comparisons on primary screen for London-Paris and London-Brussels journeys. Agents will also benefit from availability information, access to the Eurostar seat map and seat reservations, fare quotations and booking confirmations - all in real time. In addition, all booking related data will be available to feed the agent’s accounting systems.
“Amadeus recognises that high-speed railways are being developed all across the world, making high-speed railway services a clear alternative to short-haul air. Both Eurostar and Amadeus have recognised that a priority for TMCs, agents and consumers is to provide them with the ability to easily compare fares and availability for international rail travel on a single screen alongside airlines,” explains Albert Pozo, Managing Director, Travel Services & Leisure, Amadeus. “
In the US, Eurostar has had a limited GDS presence since mid-2004. However, the new development will mean that 26,000 US agents will be able to access real-time availability, reservation and e-ticket facilities for the first time. The arrival on GDS sits alongside the interlining agreements that Eurostar already has in place.
Emma Harris, UK and International Sales Director, Eurostar, said: “Eurostar’s arrival on the primary screen GDS is great news for both us and our Travel Management Companies. Agents will now find it much easier to compare prices and to book Eurostar.
“The move will also give American travel agents much greater access to Eurostar’s products. Our next step is to look at other potential international markets where a GDS presence would be desirable.”