Amadeus strikes exclusive distribution agreement with AACO


Technology and distribution solution provider for the travel and tourism industry Amadeus has been selected by 12 airlines from the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) to be 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 January 1, 2009.
These 12 airlines in the Middle East and North of Africa (MENA) account for 66 per cent of reservations made by travel agencies in the region. They are: 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.
Abdul Wahab Teffaha, secretary general of the AACO said, “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,” he said.
“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.
Teffaha said that six member airlines, which have for the past seven years have 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, said, “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.