SJ to extend its distribution strategy through the offline and online travel agency solutions benefiting from the multi-channel capabilities of the Amadeus’ Global Rail Sales Platform.
SJ, the largest rail operator in Sweden, and Amadeus, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, today announce that they have agreed an extension of their content agreement and a commercial partnership in order to distribute SJ’s content through additional channels integrated into Amadeus’ Global Rail Sales Platform, the company’s rail-specific distribution service.
The agreement, which will see SJ content distributed for the first time through the offline and online travel agency channels using Agent Track and Web Services Track, will enable SJ to deliver against a more efficient domestic and international distribution strategy. Additionally, SJ will continue to be distributed through Amadeus e-Travel Management, Amadeus’ solution to distribute rail content though the corporate and travel management companies (TMC) channel, a self-booking tool widely used by corporations in Scandinavia.
By offering integration into standard travel agency processes, travel agents will be able to manage SJ bookings from end-to-end, maximising travel sellers’ productivity and increasing booking volumes in tandem. The solution will be delivered in a phased approach with pilot planned to begin at the beginning of 2013 with a driver TMC.
This is the first major integration of Scandinavian content and follows similar agreements with other major European railway providers. For travel agents this means they will have the option to book other high-speed rail providers alongside SJ content, making rail a genuine alternative to flying on some routes. For rail providers, the agreement will mean greater reach and therefore increased domestic and international sales opportunities.
European travellers are increasingly choosing to travel by train for both business and leisure. However, up until the launch of Amadeus Global Rail Sales Platform, there has been no efficient or unified way for travel agents to book rail content from different rail providers, since there has been no standardisation in terms of processes or interfaces.
Thomas Drexler, Head of Amadeus Rail, said:
“This is yet another important step towards offering both a global platform and a multi-provider solution for effective rail distribution. With this in mind we are delighted that SJ has decided to partner with Amadeus by integrating SJ’s full content into Agent Track and Web Services Track. Travel sellers will have access to all fares and all origins and destinations worldwide. Moreover, SJ’s international sales in 2011 alone represented a little less than 2% of SJ’s total sales, illustrating that the commercial opportunity for both SJ and Amadeus is clearly huge.”
Thomas Mann, Head of Distribution, SJ states:
“This agreement offers not only a clear opportunity for SJ but in parallel means that there will be a more open and more transparent competitive landscape for the industry. Certainly this agreement will lead to an increase in demand for rail as a viable and practical mode of transport, as it becomes a new and modern solution to address the needs of the 21st century traveller.”
Amadeus is developing the first ever rail-dedicated GDS, bringing rail travel to a greater number of potential passengers through its extensive multi-channel sales network. The Amadeus Global Rail Sales Platform provides availability, booking and ticketing capabilities to both travel sellers (travel agencies, online travel agencies and corporations) and railways’ direct sales channels. To date, SNCF, Eurostar, Thalys, Lyria, TrenItalia and SJ have selected Amadeus as their global, multichannel distribution partner and we are looking to integrate more major railways in the near future to Amadeus Global Sales Platform.
Amadeus Rail is the business arm dedicated to serving the needs of railway companies around the world, distributing content of over 100 railways, including Deutsche Bahn and Renfe, and providing IT services. Amadeus Rail employs over 250 rail experts in 5 competence centres (Nice, Bad Homburg, Sydney, Toronto and Madrid).