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What's new – April 2014

Amadeus, Q400 NextGen, Airbus A320, Small Planet Airlines, and the ERA welcomes the EC's new guidelines on state aid

Amadeus – growth in distribution and IT solutions

Distribution contracts with carriers like Air France-KLM have been extended (photo: Air France-KLM)


Amadeus saw revenues jump last year; adjusted profit for the year grew 7.8% to €619.5 million. This was supported by an increase in revenue of 6.6% to €3,103.7 million, and 7.2% growth in EBITDA to €1,188.7 million.


During the year, Amadeus reports that distribution contracts with airlines due for renewal were successfully extended, most notably with IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Iberia Express) and Air France-KLM. Content agreements were also signed with American Airlines, China Airlines, LATAM Airlines Group (including both LAN and TAM) and Thai Airways.


Luis Maroto, president and chief executive officer of Amadeus, commented: “Amadeus has maintained its record of delivering success both in revenues and profitability. Our transaction-based business model has continued to be resilient in the face of industry challenges, while our investment in R&D, which drives product evolution and portfolio expansion, has contributed to our continued growth.


“Even in the context of slow growth in the wider market, Amadeus continued to outperform the travel distribution industry and reinforce its leading position in the air distribution segment, with a market share increase to 40.1% in total air travel agency bookings. This was most apparent in North America, one of our strategic targets for expansion, where despite contraction in the region we achieved a 38.1% increase.”


Amadeus also announced that it has continued its expansion into the airport IT space with the acquisition of UFIS Airport Solutions, an airport information technology player. Amadeus says UFIS brings a complementary suite of airport technology solutions based on UFIS’s 25 years of airport IT software development expertise, as well as a set of important customer relationships worldwide with specific emphasis on Asia, the Middle East and Europe.


John Jarrell, head of airport IT at Amadeus, believes it is a strategic acquisition to accelerate the move into the airport IT industry. “There are numerous synergies between the two companies, including very strong management and development teams, in addition to innovation and customer focus. Together, we are well positioned to shape the future of travel for the airport industry, which today stands at a business model crossroads, evolving more and more to become business-oriented service providers with passengers as their top priority,” he said.


READ ALSO: More features on Amadeus – Considering the customer; Soaring ahead; Dodging the middlemen



New state aid guidelines, a step in the right direction

McNamara: Need for full transparency on fees and charges at airports (photo: ERA)


The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) recently welcomed the European Commission’s (EC) new guidelines on state aid to airports and airlines, stating that it would bring some positive changes, but that it misses the mark when it comes to implementation and transparency.


“The new text is a step forward in that it does recognise, moreso than the original EC proposal, that state funding, when fairly allocated, is essential to regional development,” says Simon McNamara, ERA’s director general. “However the Commission has not proposed enough requirements for increased transparency, while the issue of inconsistent enforcement of the rules across Europe has not been adequately addressed. This means that distortions in the market are still likely to occur.”


On a  more positive note, McNamara says the Commission’s acknowledgement that social considerations (especially in the most outer and remote areas), regional cohesion and regional development are of vital importance to Europe. “The Commission’s reaffirmation of full compliance with Regulation 1008/2008 on public service obligations and Directive 12/2009 on airport charges, are both steps in the right direction,” he says. “However, full transparency on fees and charges at airports, no matter what their size, is an important step that needs to be addressed in a future revision of Directive 12/2009.” >>

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