Press release

Amadeus strikes exclusive distribution agreement with 12 member airlines of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation

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Six airlines renew partnership with Amadeus as part of 10-year distribution agreement. Six additional carriers join the deal.

Madrid, 4 June 2008: Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, has been selected by Air Algérie, Afriqiyah Airways, EgyptAir, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Libyan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sudan Airways, Syrian Arab Airlines, Tunisair and Yemen Airways - from the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) - as their exclusive distribution partner in their respective home markets. Following the signing, the 12 airlines will each establish 10-year distribution agreements with Amadeus, which will be effective on 1st January, 2009.

These 12 leading airlines in the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA) account for 66 per cent of reservations made by travel agencies in the region.

Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General of Arab Air Carriers Organisation, commented:
“This agreement crowns almost 18 months of intensive negotiations with leading Global Distribution Systems (GDSs). AACO’s strategy is to achieve the best possible cost and value structure for the airline members partnering with a leading-edge technology provider who has a strong global presence. This is the fourth contract of its kind in the past 17 years but by far the largest in terms of the number of AACO airlines involved and it delivers greater value for the signing carriers.”

“The selection of Amadeus by 12 of our member airlines is a recognition of the synergy that these airlines, in partnership with Amadeus, will bring to the travel agents in our part of the world. Amadeus solutions will equip our member airlines with excellent tools to bring customer-oriented distribution technology to the travel agents, who continue to be very important and long-term partners in the travel value chain. Six member airlines,” added Abdul Wahab Teffaha, “who have for the past seven years had a successful partnership with Amadeus, will now be joined by six additional member airlines, once their current distribution partnership expires at the end of 2008.”

David Jones, Amadeus’ Executive Vice President, Commercial, explained: “These agreements endorse our strategy to bring the most relevant airline content to travel agencies and also to provide the agents’ desktops with the latest technology. In addition, our infrastructure and continued investment in the region ensures we continue delivering the best on site support, to sustain the travel industry’s growth in the Middle-East, - one of the fastest growing regions of the world. Amadeus global distribution reach and expertise paired with our comprehensive e-commerce and IT solutions offering were key to the success of our agreement with AACO. Furthermore, our continued investment in technology and our partnership approach to business were a perfect fit for the airlines. The recent inauguration of our regional operation centre in Dubai is a reflection of our commitment to these markets and partners,” he added.

Amadeus is a leading technology provider to the travel industry with over 94,100 travel agency locations and more than 32,500 airline sales offices using Amadeus to run their reservations and sales function. In addition, Amadeus’ new-generation Customer Management Solution (CMS) portfolio, Amadeus Altéa CMS, serves network and regional carriers. The Altéa portfolio, based on a community platform concept, enables improved operational efficiency and increases revenue. The portfolio consists of the Altéa Reservation, Altéa Inventory and Altéa Departure Control solutions. The Amadeus Altéa CMS suite is currently being used by five airlines in the region - EgyptAir, Etihad Airways, Libyan Airlines, Middle East Airlines, and Qatar Airways - to manage sales, reservations, inventory and departure control functions.

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Notes to the editors

About AACO
Established in 1965, the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO), the Regional Association for Arab Airlines, represents 24 member airlines that have home-bases in Arab League states. The organisation is concerned with promoting a framework for a better economic environment for airlines, joint projects and high levels of consumer driven standards.

AACO members include Afriqiyah Airways, Air Algérie, Air Arabia, Air Cairo, EgyptAir, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Iraqi Airways, Jordan Aviation, Kuwait Airways, Libyan Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Palestinian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sudan Airways, Syrian Arab Airlines, Trans Mediterranean Airways, Tunisair and Yemen Airways.

More information about AACO is available at: www.aaco.org

About Amadeus
Amadeus is the chosen technology partner for providers, sellers, and buyers of travel. The company provides distribution, IT and point-of-sale solutions to help its customers adapt, grow and succeed in the fast changing travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, railway companies, ferry lines, cruise lines, insurance companies and tour operators), travel sellers (travel agencies) and travel buyers (corporations and travellers). Solutions are grouped in four solution categories – Distribution & Content, Sales & e-Commerce, Business Management and Services & Consulting.

Amadeus has central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters & marketing), Nice (development) and Erding (Operations – data processing centre) and regional offices in Miami, Buenos Aires and Bangkok. Amadeus maintains customer operations in 76 countries covering more than 215 markets. Amadeus employs over 7,800 employees worldwide, representing 95 nationalities.

More information about Amadeus is available at: www.amadeus.com

Press Contacts

Corporate & Marketing Communication
Tel.: +34 91 582 0160
Fax: +34 91 582 0188

Abdul Wahab Teffaha
Secretary General
Tel : +961 1 861 297/8/9
Fax: +961 1 863168
e-mail :SG.Office@aaco.org


Africa, Middle East