Virgin Blue not the first to partner with Amadeus

Recorded over AUS$2billion in turnover in past year

Virgin Blue has announced a technology partnership with Amadeus, a technology company that has been a key provider for Qantas since the year 2000.

As part of the partnership, Amadeus will implement a new distribution, e-ticketing and interline solution to enhance the competitiveness of Virgin's short haul operation.

Furthermore, Virgin Blue's new long haul subsidiary, V Australia, will use Amadeus for its complete customer management and online needs, including reservations, online booking, inventory control and airport departure control.

Amadeus has provided Virgin Blue's short haul operations (Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue) with a distribution and interlining hub, to expand booking reach as it increases its route network throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region.

The solution will allow Virgin Blue's short haul operations to benefit from wider distribution to Global Distribution Systems and other airlines which are not typically available to low cost carriers.

This is part of the carrier's strategy to diversify its distribution channels and grow interline traffic, as it expands its short-haul fleet. By enabling interline e-ticket processing, Virgin Blue will be able to receive interline passengers from full service ticketed carriers such as Etihad and sister airline, Virgin Atlantic.

In addition, Virgin Blue's new long haul subsidiary, V Australia, will use the complete Amadeus Altea customer management solution, to manage its sales and reservations, inventory and departure control operations.

The airline will also use Amadeus e-Retail and e-Merchandise solutions to drive online sales and deliver a compelling online experience. It is expected V Australia will receive approval from the United States and the Australian Governments to commence flights between the east coast of Australia and the west cost of the USA within 2008.

The e-ticketing and customer management solution provided is also used by Qantas which recently extended its existing partnership with Amadeus through to 2017.

Virgin Blue CEO, Brett Godfrey, said in the company's seventh year, Virgin Blue is growing rapidly adapting its original business model under the New World Carrier strategy while at the same time preparing to launch its fourth airline V Australia.

"It's essential that we have technology systems that support our rate of expansion and a responsive technology partner who can keep pace with our requirements," he said.

"Amadeus has proved to be agile and flexible in providing solutions and functionality and we are confident of a successful working partnership."

Frederic Spagnou, vice president, airline business group at Amadeus, said Virgin Blue is widely acknowledged as one of the most innovative and successful carriers in the world.

He said the airline has recognised the need for a strong distribution capability to help drive the continued growth of its short haul business, and, by adding interlining and enhanced GDS distribution capabilities, it will be able to further increase revenues.

In the past year, Virgin Blue has increased passenger numbers to more than 15 million and recorded over AUS$2billion in turnover, this figure is expected to grow as new aircraft continue to be added to the fleet.

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