Amadeus to become a shareholder of Opodo

, a leading Global Distribution System (GDS) and travel industry technology provider is to become a shareholder of the online travel service Opodo.

The €49 million deal, which was signed today, will give Amadeus a 16.67% share holding of Opodo
, which was created two years ago by nine of Europe’s leading airlines: Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa.

David Scowsill
, CEO of Opodo commented, “We are delighted that by investing in Opodo, Amadeus is showing such confidence in the online travel industry.  Europe is beginning to follow the US in a rapid move towards online travel purchasing.  This investment by Amadeus, a strong technology partner and expert in the travel distribution industry, will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our customers as we grow our business in Europe.”

Amadeus President and CEO José Antonio Tazón
, “Amadeus is committed to delivering the best possible booking functionality and the most comprehensive distribution tools to enable the success of all customer segments. Through this investment in Opodo we are demonstrating our multi-channel strategy as leading provider of technology to all travel industry players, while deepening our understanding of our customers’ evolving needs in the important European online travel market.”

The online industry in Europe is predicted to grow dramatically over the next 12 - 18 month. In the USA $20 billion worth of travel was booked online in 2002 - nearly 10% of the travel industry total. In Europe, at present, it is less than 3% but this is changing rapidly, as Europe starts to climb the same curve as the US.


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