Madrid, Spain, 22 January 2007:
Amadeus, a global leader in technology and distribution solutions for the travel and tourism industry, today announced that SNCF, France's primary rail provider of local and long-distance passenger and freight services, has signed a strategic agreement with Amadeus. SNCF will expand its availability in the Amadeus system to travel agencies across Europe. SNCF can now be booked and ticketed using Amadeus in the UK, and will become available in Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland at the end of January. Agencies in Italy and the Netherlands will be able to book SNCF during first quarter 2007.
"France is one of the most visited destinations in the world, and being able to book SNCF rail tickets from outside France is crucial for us in offering our customers an excellent service. Bringing this content into Amadeus helps streamline the booking process by making it quicker and easier for our travel agents to book, and hence improves productivity," says Guido Mertens, Thomas Cook Belgium.
Travel agencies across Europe will have access to an intuitive solution that allows the user to quickly compare schedules and fares thanks to seamless access, as well as real-time sell and confirmation. In addition when booking on TGV with certain city-pairs, agents will have access to a graphical coach and seat-map display.
"To encourage rail providers to sell their content internationally and to meet the trend of environmentally friendly transport, Amadeus has been able to provide a solution where providers’ fares and availability are displayed in a seamless and straight forward manner. Our objective is to continue to increase travel agents’ access to new content across more countries," explains Albert Pozo, Managing Director, Travel Services & Leisure, Amadeus. "At Amadeus, we want to make sure that we continue to offer relevant content for rail, which carries over 26 billion passengers a year worldwide, averaging four train trips a year per person*."
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* Source: UIC 2004 Railway Statistics - Synopsis
Note to the editor:
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 & Consultancy.
Societé Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais (SNCF) is a French government owned company offering railway services across Europe. It is France's primary provider of local and long-distance passenger and freight service. Passenger transportation accounts for a majority of the company's sales.
Through its main national operations as well as through Eurostar and Thalys, the company offers passenger short and long distance transportation services. SNCF sells its passenger services in Europe through its distribution subsidiaries Rail Europe. Rail Europe has offices in Benelux, Switzerland and Italy and operates through GDS and call centres with the travel trade in these markets. More information about SNCF is available at: www.sncf.com
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