Amadeus Acquires Onerail, Sees Rail Sales GrowthJune 11, 2008 By: George Dooley
Amadeus has acquired a controlling interest in Onerail, which provides a suite of technology solutions to the rail industry, and forecasts increased opportunities for travel agents' rail sales. Onerail is based in Sydney and Toronto.
Madrid-based Amadeus said the acquisition adds a fully integrated inventory, pricing, reservation and distribution system to its resources. This enables domestic and international distribution, alongside other forms of transport, such as air or car, to Amadeus’ suite of solutions for rail companies.
Amadeus said U.S. travel agents are increasingly booking rail over air for both business and leisure—especially for European and Asian travel. Rail is often hassle-free and quicker than air due to fewer travel restrictions. New high-speed tracks (in France, Germany and other countries) can take travelers between common city pairs faster than air. Direct competition from legacy airlines and low-cost carriers also can result in lower ticket prices for rail than air.
On many business routes, rail companies are in direct competition with full service airlines, low-cost carriers and, with rail liberalization in Europe, foreign rail companies running international routes, Amadeus said. In this new international and competitive environment, rail companies need a technology infrastructure that gives them the flexibility to quickly take advantage of opportunities.
Amadeus said that, increasingly, rail companies with long-distance and high-speed routes are building links with airlines, such as code share and interline agreements. This enables trains to play a greater role in an integrated transport network by bringing passengers from secondary towns to major “hub” airports. The high-speed rail network today carries about 400 million passengers and is expected to quadruple in size by 2020. Visit www.amadeus.com.