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Travel Agents Key to Low-cost Carrier SalesSeptember 20, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Low-cost carrier bookings through the Amadeus system have increased by 21 percent in the first half of 2011, Amadeus reports, and now distributes the content of approximately 70 low-cost carriers.
Amadeus also announced nine distribution agreements implemented in 2011 with low-cost and hybrid carriers that improve travel agents’ access to the inventory, schedules and fares of the over 74 million seats sold annually by these nine airlines.
Amadeus reports signed distribution agreements with Air Arabia (Maroc), Air Méditerranée, flydubai, Porter Airlines and Vision Airlines. These airlines will now be bookable by travel agencies using the Amadeus system.
Porter Airlines has also signed a full content agreement along with Frontier Airlines, another North American carrier. In Europe, airberlin, Germany's second-largest airline, and Norwegian Air Shuttle, a Scandinavian low-cost carrier, have extended their relationship with Amadeus and renewed their existing content agreements.
“We are committed to bringing and guaranteeing Amadeus’ travel agents worldwide access to the most comprehensive range of fares, schedules and inventory,” said David Doctor, director airline and travel agency distribution, Amadeus. “Furthermore, airlines on the Amadeus system can improve margins by targeting higher yield business passengers and extending their reach into new segments - many low-cost carriers start distributing to travel agencies to pursue revenue growth.”
Two thirds of the international bookings of airlines on the Amadeus system are made by travel agencies and on average the yield per net booking is 66 percent higher in the travel agency channel than it is in the airline website, Amadeus says.
Earlier this year, Amadeus reported implementing a solution that enables Germanwings to deploy e-ticketing services to travel agencies but without adding complexity to its operations. All travel agencies using Amadeus can now make bookings, issue tickets and carry out post-sales trip changes for Germanwings flights. The booking and ticketing process is seamlessly integrated into the travel agent’s workflow and mid and back-office systems.
“The easier it is for a travel agent to access a low-cost carrier’s content the higher booking volumes that LCC will attain,” Doctor said.
Total bookings on low-cost carriers by travel agencies using Amadeus in the first half of 2011 increased by 21 percent compared with the first half of 2010. Approximately 70 low-cost carriers are now bookable within the Amadeus system, including AirAsia, easyJet, Virgin America and WestJet.