‘Amadeus Has Simplified Air Travel in Nigeria’

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Chinedu Eze

The Vice-President of Amadeus Africa, Paul de Villiers, has said that the Global Distribution System (GDS) company has simplified air travel in Nigeria by providing the most efficient service to airlines and travel agencies.

De Villiers described Amadeus as a success story and number one IT provider for the travel industry in Nigeria and worldwide.

“Our technology, innovation and people have been the key to our success. We simplify complex processes, bring efficiencies to the travel industry and equip them with the right technology and guidance to succeed in their business and save money,” he said in interview with THISDAY.

The company, which has been in Nigeria for years, recently reached a partnership agreement with Nigeria’s indigenous carrier, Medview to enhance the growth of the companies and also facilitate the development of the air transport industry in Nigeria by providing efficient service.

He said that Amadeus is the world’s leading GDS platform that connects travel providers and travel sellers all over the globe, offering unmatched search, pricing, booking, ticketing, transaction and servicing capabilities.

“In 1987, Amadeus was founded as a GDS for travel agencies. In 2000, it diversified its activity to become the reference technology provider for airlines. In the past few years Amadeus has expanded its IT portfolio to encompass a variety of other applications, including merchandising, revenue management or travel intelligence,” he said.

De Villiers, who spoke to THISDAY at the opening of its new office in Lagos, said it was a momentous occasion for Amadeus in Africa, and particularly the Nigeria team with the announcement of a partnership with Medview Airline Limited.

He revealed that Amadeus, in its capacity as a GDS, standardised the language and communication processes of the airlines so that they could distribute their seats and fares more efficiently through travel agencies.

“Today, we have the most robust platform for travel distribution: a system that sends thousands of inventory queries to almost every airline in the world, consulting fares for different days and times and returning the best one available; making bookings and ticketing; and then sending this info to the travel agencies back office; and all this in seconds. It is not an exaggeration to say we are the nervous system of the great body that is the travel industry,” the Vice-President said.

He added: “Amadeus has evolved a lot in the last years, from leading the creation of a common travel platform and promoting the adoption of e-commerce, to bringing big data, cloud and mobile technologies to the travel industry, Amadeus remains a consistent innovator.

“After over a quarter of a century of service to the travel industry, we believe that innovation is the key to our growth, as is helping our customers and partners not only to adapt, but also to thrive within the rapidly changing world of travel and technology.
Technology and innovation wouldn’t exist without our people. We are a global company, with more than 14,200 employees all over the world.”

According to him, Amadeus has presence in all African markets and is the leading distribution system for travel agencies, not only in Nigeria, but in the whole region.

“Nevertheless, we would like to expand our presence in the market and increase adoption of our solutions. We are also launching new services and technology this year that will help travel agencies increase efficiencies and better serve their customers, including Amadeus Selling Connect or Amadeus Ticket Changer. It is also key for us to offer more content: airlines, hotels, car rental, etc., on our system. On that note, we are very excited to announce that the Nigerian carrier MedView Airline Limited is available on the Amadeus system for travel agencies.

MedView Airline, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing carriers in our global travel community, has partnered with Amadeus, giving our subscribers worldwide access to the same content and conditions as users who turn to the airline’s ticketing offices, call centres and website. The long- term full content agreement provides Amadeus subscribers worldwide with access to MedView Airline’s complete range of fares, schedules and availability,” de Villier said.

He remarked that Medview Airline believes that making its full range of content available across all channels will be instrumental to partnering with the travel agency community to achieve maximum visibility with travellers, which has driven their distribution agreement with Amadeus, along with its leading technology and global presence.

He explained: “Keep in mind that we appeared on the scene at a time when the Internet did not exist and each travel agency had a separate communication line with each airline. Amadeus developed a system that for the first time ever allowed competing airlines to “speak” the same language and standardise their processes. The distribution sector has changed a lot since then, but even new operators (online agencies, metasearch engines and aggregators of all kinds) have today benefited from the standardisation process that was evolved by global distribution systems.

“As Amadeus, we pioneer in many aspects. We make airline technology available that allows travel consultants to sell Ancillary Services, which are today so critical to maximising revenue and personalising the traveller’s experience. We provide travel agencies with omni-channel technology to serve their customers anywhere and at any time. We are also promoting the benefits of big data and how this information can help travel agents upsell or cross sell their services.”

Amadeus ensures that the traveller is always connected, more demanding, and has more information than ever at his disposal.

“Sometimes technology evolves faster than business models do. At Amadeus, we are aware of our key role in the travel industry to help travel agencies embrace these new technologies to respond better to their customer’s needs. Challenges can turn into opportunities if you know how to deal with them,” de Villiers added.