In the 1960s, a single airline created the first GDS as a way to keep track of flight schedules, availability and prices. Fast-forward to 1987 when Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS created Amadeus. Three decades later, Amadeus has grown to become the leading travel technology company that enables one of every two global passengers to board a plane. In addition, 50 percent of all GDS transactions are booked on the Amadeus system, contributing to our nearly 44% global travel agency air competitive position.
If all GDSs are not created equal, then how did we get here, and what sets us apart?
- Investment in cutting-edge technology
Amadeus is the leading travel company in R&D investment. In 2017 we invested over 15.3% of our revenue in R&D, totaling around $5 billion dollars over the past 12 years. We invest two to three times more than our competitors, and have continued to do so over the past decade. Today we continue to evolve our travel platform to ensure it combines all relevant content from different sources, whether originating from the traditional GDS, NDC, aggregators, or an airline’s proprietary API. We are in a strong and unique position to continuously invest, given the flexibility that comes from operating 100% in open systems.
- Unrivaled air content, global expertise
Amadeus connects travelers to hundreds of thousands of suppliers and travel agencies across the vast world of air, hotel, rail, cruise, cars and insurance content. In North America alone, we represent 67 airlines offering ancillary services and 43 offering fare families. Globally, we represent the most airlines (300) with highest access level to last seat availability, 391 airlines with guaranteed sell, and 147 airlines on Amadeus Ticket Changer.
- Superior hotel content
Nearly two-thirds of travelers who book air also need accommodations. Amadeus is the only global provider to offer a hotel convergence platform that features a diversified mix of traditional business travel hotel content with expanding leisure content (featuring Expedia, GTA, Bedsonline, HRS and more). We proudly offer more than 800,000 unique hotels sourced directly or through partners, making Amadeus one of the biggest repositories of bookable hotels globally.
- Powerful platforms
The Amadeus Altéa suite is a true industry differentiator. This complete passenger service system (PSS) offers fully integrated reservation, inventory and departure control capabilities. We are the largest provider of IT solutions for airlines, including full-service (through Altéa) and low cost carriers (via Navitaire). Travel management companies’ customers are the biggest beneficiaries of the 130+ airlines we host on the Altéa PSS.
Customer satisfaction, the true test
For 30+ years, Amadeus has enjoyed exceptional growth, the same growth that fuels our customers’ success. A prime example is Southwest Airlines, which last year became the first major carrier in the US to join the Amadeus Altéa platform. At 101 airports across nine countries, every Southwest domestic and international flight is managed through Altéa, giving the carrier more flexibility to improve the customer experience and enhance revenue performance.
We couldn’t have done it all without our dedicated global staff of 16,785 employees across 190+ countries (McDonald’s boasts only 120)! And our Business Travel Group is part of a larger team of 5,600 professionals who are laser focused on helping our customers succeed.
It is true that all GDSs are not created equal
At Amadeus, we’ve found that our success is built upon a strong foundation that prioritizes investment in cutting-edge technology, unrivaled air and hotel content, global expertise, powerful platforms, people – and much more, which you can read about here.
What other success factors set apart leading companies from the competition?