Air Bookings Underscore Agents' Importance to Airlines

For agents using the Amadeus GDS across the United States and Europe, online air bookings grew by 20.4 percent for the first six months of 2007 versus the same period last year, representing 17.4 percent of all air bookings made on the GDS. "We have calculated that our travel agency partners booked 31.7 billion euros [roughly $43 billion] worth of air tickets on Amadeus in the first half of 2007, clearly demonstrating the continuing value of the travel agency channel for our airline partners," José Antonio Tazón, president and CEO of Amadeus, said in a statement. The technology provider also said it signed low-fare content agreements with over 150 airlines in 2007. Visit [].