Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, has announced the creation of the world’s first interline Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) link. The application of EMD to interline partnerships means that participating airlines can now facilitate payment for and delivery of ancillary services across their partnerships and alliances.
Amadeus estimates that up to 20% of air bookings made through its system are the result of interline partnerships, representing a huge opportunity for airlines to increase revenues through the sale of ancillary services via their partner carriers. In addition, EMDs remove the need for paper documents to account for the sale of ancillary services, which IATA believes will save the industry 0.9 USD billion annually.
Interline EMD processing between Finnair and Egypt Air means the carriers’ customers can now buy ancillary services across interline flights, safe in the knowledge that the operating airline will know the service has been purchased. Previously, the only way the operating airline would know a customer had purchased an ancillary service, such as extra baggage allowance, was through a paper document provided by the traveller at the airport.
Julia Sattel, VP Airline IT, Amadeus commented: “Our research estimates ancillary services were worth over $35 billion to airlines in 2011, with ancillary services contributing upwards of 20% of total revenues for some carriers. A well implemented ancillary services strategy is now the difference between reaching profitability and incurring a loss for a large number of airlines. We are naturally absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Finnair and Egyptair to be our launch partner airlines for what is the world’s first interline EMD link”.
Petteri Skaffari, Head of Customer Experience and Sales Applications, Finnair commented: “Our commercial strategy means we always aim to be at the forefront when it comes to new developments. With this in mind, we’re incredibly pleased that Amadeus has given us the opportunity to be a launch airline on Interline EMD. Ancillary services are clearly always critical to airline profitability. To maintain our focus on service excellence we must ensure that when we sell ancillary services they are delivered in the way the customer expects. That’s especially true when our interline partner airlines deliver services sold under the Finnair brand. That’s where EMDs will make a big difference for our customer experience”.
Mr. Yasser EL Ramly, VP Commercial, Egypt Air said: “We are proud to be a pioneering airline which is putting into production a true interline EMD. This is clearly a landmark achievement for the industry, and we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to both Amadeus and Finnair for working together with us to make this happen. Our customers will absolutely notice the difference - the improved efficiency and more convenient service are principal and tangible benefits, whilst the EMD will also save on time. It is clear also that we are far ahead of the IATA target date of 2013 for full application of EMD across the industry.”
56 airlines have contracted Amadeus’ EMD Server to enable the provision of EMDs in order to facilitate the sale of ancillary services. To date, 22 carriers have implemented Amadeus’s EMD Server resulting in 4,098,842 EMDs processed during 2011 and IATA states that 47 are currently EMD compliant.