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How Low Cost Carriers can grow in the corporate travel market

Gianni Pisanello

VP, NDC-X program, Amadeus

As low cost and hybrid carriers look to continue their high passenger growth rates and to shore up their yields, they have increased their attention on the business traveller. easyJet recognised the potential of this market early, seeing that these travellers were already starting to choose to travel with them. But easyJet needed help to further tap into Europe’s £20 billion marketplace.

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This is where Amadeus was able to support easyjet’s strategy. Our recent case study with easyJet reiterated the value we deliver to low cost and hybrid carriers when it comes to gaining a foothold in the lucrative corporate travel market.

With approximately 67% of business and first class bookings generated through the indirect channel, easyJet saw an opportunity to evolve its distribution strategy to access this market. Understanding that travel agency processes did not fit within their direct booking model, easyjet recognised that making relevant content available and connecting to key agency partners would be a crucial part of their strategy.

To this end, the carrier decided to pilot Amadeus Ticketless Access, a unique solution developed specifically for low cost and hybrid carriers. easyJet found this solution allowed it to meet travel agency needs whilst retaining key benefits such as:

  • keeping connectivity simple
  • re-using existing systems
  • remaining cost effective
  • keeping flexibility
  • offering real-time bookable fares and availability to travel sellers
  • maintaining full control with direct and mandatory payments at the time of booking

Following this initial success, easyJet was interested in driving greater awareness and adoption amongst TMC and agency partners. In 2013, we came together on a joint project to accelerate the growth of corporate bookings using the uniform Amadeus Light Ticketing flow , which is designed to work seamlessly with agency workflows in order to further drive adoption. The revolutionary Light Ticketing functionality allows agents to book low cost and hybrid carriers in exactly the same way they book any other carrier in Amadeus. The Amadeus Light Ticketing project not only helped easyJet reach new heights of adoption, but it has also taken our partnership to the next level and the results have been spectacular.

The proportion of easyJet bookings made via Amadeus versus the web has increased 45% from 2014 to 2015, showing a major shift in travel agency booking behaviour. Additionally, travel agencies using Amadeus Light Ticketing have recorded nearly three times faster booking growth compared to other agencies, and easyJet has seen its GDS-based bookings with Amadeus double year-over-year, both online and offline. Business travellers now represent 20% of easyJet’s total bookings, with around one out of every five passengers travelling for business.

When easyJet first approached us, they recognised our role as a facilitator of low cost and hybrid carrier entry and growth within the corporate travel market. With an unparalleled presence in Europe, leading relationships with agency partners, and specialised technology options for low cost and hybrid carriers, Amadeus was the natural choice to help execute easyJet’s business strategy. And this is only the beginning!

Get great insights about this successful partnership in the full case study


Tags

Corporate Travel