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 February 17, 2009
Amadeus Rail IT Upgrade For CountryLink Australia

 Amadeus, a leading provider of technology to the travel and tourism industry, has launched the latest version of Amadeus Rail's IT solution that provides rail operators with the technology to manage reservations, inventory, scheduling, seating, pricing and ticketing operations. The new version, initiated and being implemented by the Australian railway carrier CountryLink, sets a new standard for rail operators and is the result of Amadeus' investment in IT products for rail.

With the new version, CountryLink optimizes the use of its reservation system and provides better service to its customers through both the Internet Distribution Solution and its call center.

With Amadeus Rail IT CountryLink can now create and store customer profiles in their system. This makes the booking process faster and more efficient, increasing the number of bookings that CountryLink's call center can absorb. Customer profiles, which include contact details, travel preferences, special service requests and booking history, also allow the operator to analyse and better understand its customer, to target marketing campaigns and eventually to create a loyalty program.

Doug Taylor, Reservation Systems Manager, CountryLink, commented: "This enhancement of Amadeus Rail IT suite is the response to some uncontested challenges in the rail industry. With a better understanding of our customers' needs and behavior, we are now ready to improve the way we serve them while making a wiser use of our marketing efforts"

This new customer profile functionality also boosts the efficiency of CountryLlink's B2C online distribution channel. The system will store personal details and customer's preferences, avoiding re-entering this information and making the booking process much faster.

Pricing enhancements now facilitate special promotions for marketing campaigns, the use of travel passes, and special fares for groups such as senior citizens and students. It also facilitates the offer of premium discounts for tickets with restrictions -- as it is the case of airlines - for travelers who do not anticipate changes in their itineraries. This functionality increases railways' revenue when changes and cancelations are made on bookings using these special fares.

In terms of carrier management enhancements, "Train-to-coach" will be an excellent time-saving feature for emergency situations or during track maintenance when a train needs to be replaced by coach transport. In these events, the system automatically determines the best use of coaches to replace the rail service and brings the optimum combination of coaches based on destinations, pick-up points and the use of minimal number of buses. This functionality achieves a remarkable reduction of the manual intervention needed to analyze the best combinations, saves time and money to the carrier and assists the railway to improve safety and customer service to the traveler.

"This is the first Rail IT business enhancement initiated by CountryLink and delivered by Amadeus since the full integration of OneRail, a rail IT company acquired in June 2008. With the launch of this new version of Amadeus Rail IT, we are showcasing Amadeus' commitment to the rail industry by providing the most complete and advanced product portfolio for rail in the travel and tourism industry" commented Diane Bouzebiba, Head of Amadeus Rail Business Unit. "The heart of our concern is to ensure railway companies benefit from the strength and breadth of technology already mastered by Amadeus IT Group in other areas of the travel industry in order to offer the highest possible service to the rail traveling public."