15 airlines from the Middle East & North Africa have entered into a 10-year framework agreement with Amadeus for distribution services, negotiated and led by the Arab Air Carriers Association (AACO). The airlines participating in the framework agreement to date carried 110 million passengers in 2016, meaning that these airlines will serve over 1 billion passengers during the 10 year duration of the agreement. The contract follows a previous 10 year agreement with 13 AACO airlines, signed in 2008.
For the participating AACO airlines, the partnership will drive economies of scale, technological efficiencies and support the airlines’ vision for distribution in the future. Participating AACO airlines will work with Amadeus to explore how to further develop and maximise the potential of Amadeus’ travel agency network, including enhanced merchandising and retailing capabilities.
The agreement comes after an 18-month process during which AACO’s ‘taskforce for future distribution strategies’ carefully assessed a variety of technology and distribution providers according to their ability to support the long-term needs of its member airlines.
Amadeus’ vision, technological capabilities and innovative approach were key deciding factors. A partner with clear commitment to airline distribution, evidenced by ongoing investment and a growing travel agency network, will equip participating AACO airlines with the tools to pursue the right distribution strategy to meet their individual business goals.
Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, AACO commented, “This efficient, long-term agreement represents a landmark for a number of AACO members with a technology partner dedicated to supporting new business strategies. This framework secures a solid foundation for those AACO members as they continue to innovate and it will remain open for additional member airlines that wish to join in the future.”
Julia Sattel, Senior Vice President, Airlines, Amadeus said, “We are proud to further deepen our partnership with AACO and its member airlines. Amadeus’ focus on innovation and technology, combined with a partnership approach were in close alignment with the requirements identified by the members of AACO’s taskforce for future distribution strategies. Amadeus’ commitment to evolving airline distribution is demonstrated through its recent IATA NDC Certification as an aggregator and our extensive work on the IATA One Order standard. This deal represents an enormous achievement for Amadeus.”
Maher Koubaa, Vice President, Head of Airline Group, Middle East and Africa, Amadeus added, “Airlines in the Middle East have been some of the most successful in the industry over the past decade. Whether their focus is on providing travellers with a premium product, capitalizing on the region as a hub between Asia and Europe, or pursuing a partnership approach, airlines see the value in an omnichannel distribution strategy, to maximise their sales with travellers across the world. We look forward to working with AACO and its members to best support their growth and to deliver continued value.”
While 15 airlines have signed the agreement to date, more airlines in this vibrant region will be able to join at a later stage.
* Image caption from left to right: Manal Diab (AACO); Maher Koubaa (Amadeus); Abdul Wahab Teffaha (AACO); Julia Sattel (Amadeus).