Advantage Business Travel Management has been revealed as
the winner of the third annual Business Travel Show Innovation Award for its GDS
CAT35 initiative and its deal with Amadeus. CAT35 allows airlines to upload their net discounted fares displaying all terms and
conditions on the global distribution system. Previously this was not possible and
agents had to either go through a third party or search for those specific fares.
But now, thanks to CAT35, agents can save time searching as well as offer a
comprehensive fare selection to clients; airlines can upload fares directly -
increasing accuracy; and agents are no longer liable for expensive penalty charges.
Although the CAT35 initiative was launched less than a year ago with just six
airlines, 43 airlines are now involved. And last year, Advantage members shared £2
million in rebates - an increase of 40 per cent on 2005.
Advantage also won the Innovation Award for its deal with Amadeus: the company has
pioneered the use of Amadeus’ e-booking tool, which is offered to members who can,
in turn, offer it to clients.
The third Business Travel Show Innovation Award was presented by Adam Coulter,
chairman of the judging panel and editor of Travel Trade Gazette Business:
“Advantage has shown how, by coming together, its members have driven through two
“CAT35 is a step-change in terms of how its members search for fares, saving them
time and money and enhancing their reputation with clients. Amadeus’ SBT allows
members - many of whom could never afford such technology - to offer a sophisticated
e-booking solution to their clients. This is a prime example of how a well-run and
efficient consortium is bigger than the sum of its parts. And special mention must
go to Norman Gage, Advantage Business Travel Director, and his team for driving
through those initiatives.”
EOS and ITM (Institute of Travel Management) were announced as runners up: EOS for
its all all-business class long haul service, and ITM for Project Icarus. Portman
Travel (Portman Forest programme) and Virgin Atlantic (Premium Economy service) were
the other two finalists.