Amadeus will begin to act as a sales agent for rail operators in a new merchant model, which it says will enable railways to expand their global reach and simplify commercial links to travel agencies.
With the model, Amadeus is hoping to provide travel agencies globally with one link to sell multiple railways, bypassing the need for one-to-one commercial relationships between both parties.
Meanwhile, foreign travellers can more conveniently book rail travel through their travel agency before flying and have their entire trip – including air, hotel and rail – on the same itinerary.
Rail companies could also save costs as Amadeus takes care of all setup, billing and settlement activities, and assumes financial and legal risks of selling via travel agencies. With Amadeus as a sales agent, the model will enable railways to reach new travellers in new markets.
Currently the model houses full offers of Germany's Deutsche Bahn (DB), Spain's RENFE, France's SNCF (French, available in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe only), Italy's Trenitalia and select eastern European rail operators, with more expected to join soon.
“Rail travel today is still largely domestic but this will soon change – our merchant model marks the beginning of a new era, giving the industry what it needs to take a global leap, and unlock growth,” said Antoine de Kerviler, global head of rail and ground travel at Amadeus.
This new agreement will enable Deutsche Bahn to "vastly extends its global network.” and the rail operator will "improve the availability of (its) tickets to all travel agencies, particularly those with a wide travel offer,” said Ronn Kostecki, project manager at DB.
Alessandra Bucci, commercial director of long haul passenger division at Trenitalia, added that the Amadeus partnership marks a further step in the company's "ambitious project of offering (its) customers an integrated travel solution, covering their trip door-to-door in Italy".