, a leading global distribution system (GDS) and travel industry technology provider, has announced its 2003 pricing for distribution services offered to airlines.
Effective 1 January 2003, prices will rise on average between 1.5 and 3.0 per cent on the current discounted booking fee, which reflects a 45 per cent suspension of the full annual price increase for 2003.
The price increase is intended to cover rising data processing costs while taking into account the fact that Amadeus`s distribution network is by far the largest and most international available to airlines today. The price increase is well below forecasts for other price rises within the industry: NBTA, the US National Business Travel Association, has estimated that business air travel is set to rise 7 per cent for 2003, while air traffic control charges in Europe will grow by an average of 10.7 per cent, according to Eurocontrol.
Over the last year, the number of transactions per reservation processed by traditional travel agents through the Amadeus system has risen by almost 10 per cent. This reflects the additional demands placed by consumers on travel agents to search thoroughly for low fares before finally making a booking.
Amadeus provides the most extensive travel distribution network in the industry and is the only GDS to continue adding significant numbers of travel agencies to its system. As of 30 September 2002, Amadeus served 260,630 point of sale terminals (travel agency and airline sales office) in some 204 markets, which represents 75 per cent more territories served than its nearest competitor. In 2001, the company added 19,899 travel agency terminals to its distribution network, an increase of 11.4 per cent. Year to date, it has increased the travel agency network by another 5.4 per cent, adding 9,503 terminals.
As more than 70 per cent of air journeys, especially high fare trips, are sold through travel agents, the GDS are a particularly cost efficient and reliable distribution channel for airlines, especially if they have a large global footprint like Amadeus. GDS booking fees represent around 1.5 per cent of a major airline`s operating costs.
Related stories on ITN:
(27/11/2002) Amadeus Delivers New Reservation Tool for Agents
(04/11/2002) Qantas Airways Moves to Amadeus