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Amadeus optomistic despite booking falls

Travel bookings at Amadeus Asia Pacific contracted by 4% in 2008, but the company claims this decrease was comparatively less than the GDS market as a whole, which its says fell by 7%. Amadeus also saw growing demand for its airline IT solutions. The company’s next generation Altéa Customer Management System (CMS) was selected by the Star Alliance as its official technology platform. Amadeus also completed the full migration of Qantas to the Altéa Departure Control solution in 2008, making Qantas the first airline in the world to become fully operational on the entire Altéa CMS. Other leading airlines in Asia Pacific such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have also adopted the Altéa CMS.

“We are very pleased that in spite of the current economic environment, Amadeus continues to gain ground against its competitors,” said David Brett, President, Amadeus Asia Pacific. “Thanks to globalisation, travel - both corporate and leisure - is a necessity today. The travel industry in Asia Pacific has proven in the past to be extremely resilient, recovering quickly through crises such as the SARS epidemic and natural disasters. Companies are also increasingly recognising the important role of technology in improving efficiency, and profitability, and are selecting Amadeus as their IT partner because our solutions are the best in the market. We expect to see consistent demand for our IT even in these tough times, and bookings - online and through travel agencies - to pick up rapidly as the economy recovers.”

In Thailand, despite the financial crisis and political unrest, official arrival numbers in the country dipped by only 1% to hit 14.3 million in 2008.

“Thailand has been central to our strong performance as a company in the Asia Pacific region. Our key partnerships with major Thai travel players such as Thai Airways and Centara Hotels have helped Amadeus to go from strength to strength in the home market of our Asia Pacific head office. We continue to see major opportunities for growth in Thailand, as it becomes a more mature market with a stronger influence on the global tourism industry,” Brett added.

Amadeus Asia Pacific has offices in 39 countries and territories in the region. The company has more than 19,500 travel agency customers, 92 airlines, and almost 200 hotel partners in Asia Pacific.