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Overcoming headwinds with our airline partners in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa

Maher Koubaa

Executive Vice President, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Airlines, Amadeus

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I read an article recently about the landmark free-trade agreement among the 54-member states of the African Union. The deal is set to remove most tariffs and other commercial barriers in Africa. Amidst this news, I couldn’t help but feel optimistic about the future of travel in Africa as well as the Middle East and Turkey.

Indeed, there’s much to be optimistic about as IATA forecasts that the region has the potential to accommodate up to 835 million passengers by 2037, which amounts to 11% of the current world population. There’s so much opportunity, especially when you account for the young, digital natives who will make up much of those passengers. Suffice to say, these regions are very important for Amadeus and we have the technology to help our airline partners capitalize on this potential.  

Long-term partnerships for long-term success amid times of change

We have signed several multi-year deals with some of the region’s leading airlines in the first half of 2019. These partnerships are a testament to the rock-solid trust and loyalty we share with our airline partners. Fostering growth as their businesses undergo significant evolution is top of mind for us. Our customers are looking to us to help sell and distribute enriched offers across all relevant touchpoints for travelers in the way they need. We’re there with them every step of the way with our unparalleled technology and expertise as their businesses reach new heights.

Turning headwinds into tailwinds in the Middle East

There are challenges to overcome in the Middle East, ranging from fuel prices to political uncertainty. But we’re confident in the growth opportunities and working closely with our airline partners in the region. 

We’ve expanded our partnership with Etihad Airways to foster long-term growth and enhance its flight management technology. The carrier recently signed a 10-year distribution agreement which will help it further develop and maximize the potential our global travel agency network, including enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities. Etihad has also adopted the cutting-edge Amadeus Altéa Departure Control Flight Management solution to improve productivity with increased automation and integration, in order to better manage capacity and reduce costs.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, implemented the Amadeus Altéa Revenue Availability solution. Backed by the latest science, this solution calculates real-time availability and can be customized to help the airline tailor its offer and gain more revenue. This will support Qatar in the coming years, as revenue maximization is critical for airlines, and help it make the most of every booking and ensure that customers are served in the best way possible, while minimizing related operational costs.

Lebanon’s flag carrier Middle East Airlines, has also further cemented our partnership with a new 10-year agreement that will make their content available to Amadeus global travel sellers. The carrier, which is the 16th airline to join the AACO agreement, seeks to ensure future growth and we’re working together to drive larger economies of scale, increase technological efficiencies, and meet the airline’s distribution ambitions. Middle East Airlines wants to be in all channels where its travelers are shopping and we’re helping it do this by connecting the carrier with the Amadeus Travel Platform so that they can reach their full potential, including the sale using enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities.

In Pakistan, the nation’s premium airline, SereneAir, recently signed its first content distribution agreement with us. The three-year deal will enable SereneAir to sell its service offerings to our global travel agency partners with a view towards helping the carrier achieve its ambitious growth goals.

The sky is the limit in Africa

Across the Red Sea, our position in Africa is getting stronger and there is great opportunity for airlines in the region. Earlier in 2019, Kenya Airways embraced our technology with the adoption of the next-generation Amadeus Altéa Network Revenue Management solution. It was the first carrier in sub-Saharan Africa to implement this solution and it will help the airline capitalize on opportunities in its network and optimize traffic flows. We’re working closely with Kenya Airways to position it to meet the needs of passengers in an increasingly competitive environment. 

In Rwanda, we’ve extended our partnership with national carrier RwandAir beyond distribution. The carrier is rolling out a bevy of our advanced solutions, ranging from a new passenger service system to revenue management, loyalty management, payments, and data & analytics. 

Staying ahead of the competition in Turkey and the Caucasus

Finally, in Turkey, our close partner Turkish Airlines, is looking to grow its business to nearly 120 million passengers a year by 2023. We’re working with the carrier to make this vision a reality and the recent renewal of a multi-year agreement is a testament to our strong and lasting partnership. We look forward to playing a key role as a preferred distribution partner to help foster future growth for the airline as it expands to new destinations, grows capacity, and opens new routes.

In the Caucasus, we’ve made great progress in Azerbaijan. The nation’s flag carrier, Azerbaijan Airlines, will adopt our Amadeus Altéa PSS and Revenue Management solutions for an improved passenger experience. Azerbaijan Airlines will be able to make the most of growing travel demand as it forms part of the Altéa global community of airlines working to provide cutting edge travel solutions for travelers. This is in addition to Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport implementing our full suite of airport solutions, becoming the world’s first fully cloud-based airport. As one of the top-five fastest growing global destinations for conducting business, Azerbaijan is prioritizing global connectivity and we’re excited to be working with the nation to do just that.

A simple, agile, and open platform where great journeys begin

In this digital era, the needs of travelers continue to evolve. Our airline partners are dedicated to transforming their operations to deliver the experiences travelers truly want. And so are we. That’s why we’ve put all of the lessons of 30 years of working with airlines into the new Amadeus Airline Platform. It’s designed to help our airline partners fast track innovation to grow their businesses. 

This technology, combined with our reach and unrivalled expertise, ensures that our airline partners in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa can overcome headwinds and reach new heights. Our long-term agreements are evidence of this as carriers in the region seek out trusted, reliable partners that have the right approach in this time of significant transformation.

Contact us to learn more about Amadeus Solutions for airlines.

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Tags

Customer Testimonial, Merchandizing, Middle East, Travel Platform, Airline IT, Live Travel Space, Africa, Altea, Digital transformation