easyJet will target the $90 billion European corporate travel market with break-through distribution deals with Amadeus and Galileo, part of Travelport GDS.This innovative business development will enable corporate travel agencies to view and book easyJet flights within their preferred GDS environment, alongside other carriers to make easy comparisons and bookings.
This is the first time a major European low-fares airline has made its inventory available to the GDS providers. easyJet, Amadeus and Galileo recognise the demand from the corporate travel market for easier access to easyJet’s low-fares and attractive business-related services. easyJet also aims to grow its proportion of business passengers, currently around 20%, through the managed business travel segment, which is largely booked by travel agencies through the GDSs.
Distribution through Amadeus and Galileo is specifically targeting travel agencies specialising in business travel and easyJet will apply a point-of-sale fee (the same principle applies to all non-internet sales, such as telephone and airport sales) to the cost of the airfare.
To enable the agreements, Amadeus and Galileo have separately delivered new technology to connect each GDS directly to easyJet’s inventory, allowing travel agents, for the first time, to make bookings on the airline within their everyday workflow and channel.
The agreements represent the next step in the evolution of the low-fare airline industry and reinforce the value of the GDS as a sales channel bringing gains for the low cost airline segment.
Andy Harrison, easyJet’s Chief Executive, said:
“This is a major step forward in our strategy to attract more business travellers. easyJet has always appealed to businesses by offering an excellent high-frequency, flexible product between Europe’s major airports and now Europe’s travel managers and their clients can book with easyJet, therefore removing the last barrier to the corporate travel market.”
“easyJet will maintain its direct sell business strategy, by adding a point-of-sale fee we can ensure our website remains our primary distribution channel and fares will always be cheapest when booking direct online.”
“However, even with the point-of-sale fee, easyJet seats sold through the GDS will still be dramatically cheaper than those offered on any of the traditional airlines.”
David Jones, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Amadeus, said:
“This agreement with easyJet underscores and validates the effort we have made to understand and offer a tailor-made solution for the low fare airline segment.”
“We have built a solution that connects the GDS directly to the inventory of ticketless carriers, enabling them to distribute efficiently through the GDS. Using this technology we can now offer business travel agencies key easyJet content, with a booking process that is integrated directly into their regular work process.”
Bryan Conway, Managing Director, EMEA, Travelport GDS said:
“By integrating easyJet’s services directly into our core GDS, we are able to offer even richer content to our business travel agents and their customers.”
“Galileo can now provide agents with the same straightforward and highly efficient way to book this content as they have with other airlines, whilst also offering today’s low-cost carriers with a simplified means to distribute to the travel trade.”
Amadeus is carrying out detailed pilots in Germany, France, Spain and UK which will end in November. As soon as those pilots are concluded, Amadeus will make easyJet flights available to all eligible agencies worldwide. easyJet flights will also be available through Galileo in the UK by the end of the year and the rest of Europe in the New Year.
This announcement is the latest development in easyJet’s campaign to increase its proportion of business passengers, currently around 20%. easyJet offers an extensive route network, high frequencies to main city airports and low-fares and this move follows the recent introduction of business passenger targeted services such as speedy boarding and the hop on an earlier flight for free policy.