Amadeus to further integration of rail travel

Amadeus will reveal new functionality to make rail travel more integrated into the GDS before the end of the year.

Ian Wheeler, Amadeus vice president marketing and distribution, said the GDS and technology provider had to keep pace with the planned rapid expansion of high speed rail in Europe.

He said over the next 10 years 2,000 high speed rail “units” are due to be delivered across the continent. “That’s huge additional capacity. It might take capacity from the airlines but it will take capacity off the roads and it will expand the business.”

Wheeler said offering options to combine rail and air is currently not something Amadeus can do but he said it will soon. Amadeus bought OneRail in 2008.

However, he warned the pace of integration would be slower than with the low cost carriers due to different standards used by operators and because some are government owned.

Another area of development Amadeus is pursuing is in hotel information technology. It plans to develop a community IT solution for things like revenue management and inventory systems.

Amadeus recently exited the legacy property business, preferring instead to concentrate on its next generation hotel platform. The firm is also looking at expanding its airport information technology systems.

Wheeler said Amadeus saw plenty of opportunity for growth without itself branching out into other sectors like retail.

“I can say with absolute confidence that we will not be verticalising the Amadeus business.  We own Opodo but have said many times that’s not a core business.

“We do not see ourselves as a consumer business, but a B-B company providing technology to the travel industry.

“There is so much opportunity within that space that we don’t need to stretch to other sectors.”

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