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Germanwings and Amadeus Launch New Agent TechnologyFebruary 4, 2011 By: George Dooley
Amadeus and low-cost European airline Germanwings announced the launch of a new distribution solution that will enable Germanwings to offer travel agencies more flexible travel options as well as comprehensive ticketing services fully integrated with their mid- and back-office systems.
The Amadeus solution enables Germanwings to issue tickets on Lufthansa’s ticket stock and start interlining with the full service carrier. By collaborating with Lufthansa in this way, Germanwings could avoid the complex accounting, multiple IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) contracts and servicing that are usually a requirement for ticketed distribution.
Amadeus said it is uniquely able to offer this solution thanks to its common IT platform, which is shared by travel agents and airlines for all their pricing, availability and PNR (Passenger Name Record) management. Amadeus provides a distribution layer that processes all Germanwings bookings made by travel agents and link to Lufthansa’s ticketing server. This technology model is possible thanks to Germanwings’ recent agreement with Lufthansa, which will act as a sales agent and validating carrier (or issuing carrier) for the low-cost airline.
Since the end of January, travel agents have been able to book combined Germanwings and Lufthansa flights. For example, they are able to book an outward journey with Germanwings and a Lufthansa return flight and issue a single ticket. The Amadeus solution will also enable travel agents to carry out post-sales trip changes for all Germanwings flights.
"We expect that by improving our content and adapting to travel agencies’ modus operandi we will be able to grow our sales in this channel," said Ognjen Zeric, vice president of e-commerce and sales at Germanwings. "We also want to target business travelers with more comprehensive post-sales services that will adapt to their needs."
In addition to published fares, travel agency customers are able to buy a Germanwings flexible fare that is refundable and includes free trip changes, as well as negotiated fares with corporations. All fares distributed through the Amadeus system include an on-board snack and drink as well as 20 kg free checked baggage with an unlimited number of pieces. The booking and ticketing process is seamlessly integrated into the travel agent’s workflow and mid and back-office systems. This results in significant time and cost savings for the travel agent. For example, data transfer to billing reports and credit card statements or calculation of services fees, among other administrative tasks, are automated.