Skift Take

Texas-based Sabre can no longer take for granted its home market of North America as Amadeus attempts to make inroads on the continent.

Madrid-based Amadeus has traditionally been strongest in Europe, but the travel technology company has increasingly been making gains abroad.

Amadeus’s fastest-growing region is North America, where the company saw travel agency air bookings through its reservation systems rise 14.6 percent to 34 million bookings in the first quarter.

North America is now Amadeus’s second-largest market after Western Europe, displacing Asia, the company reported on Wednesday. North America accounted for 20.9 percent, while Western Europe drove 35.4 percent and Asia Pacific generated 17 percent.

Amadeus made the gains despite pressures on agency bookings in the period due to a U.S. government shutdown in January and extreme weather conditions in many parts of North America. It also made gains despite a global slowdown in agency growth. Its worldwide travel agency air bookings grew merely 1.6 percent to 162.6 million.

Texas-based Sabre has long provided stiff competition in North America, which until recently deterred Amadeus’s advance there. In the first quarter, Sabre reported a 6 percent gain in North American bookings, though this was from a comparatively higher, though undisclosed, base.

MultiFront Push

Amadeus also saw strong growth in North America for the sale of its airline passenger service systems and related technology. The number of passengers boarded using Amadeus’s information technology systems for carriers rose 6.5 percent to 59.9 million in the first quarter. That was the highest pace of growth in any market except for Central and Southern Europe.

In 2017, Air Canada decided to move from its 30-year-old, built-in-house reservation system to the Altéa Suite offered by Amadeus, which is helping to bolster the tech vendor’s North American position.

On the hospitality services side, Amadeus gained many North American customers in October, when it officially acquired TravelClick, a U.S.-based provider of tech services to hotels. TravelClick has a significant client base in North America.

Worldwide for Amadeus, the company boosted its revenue by 14.6 percent to $1.57 billion (€1.409 billion) during the three months ended March 31, 2019. The Madrid-based company reported that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization expanded 11.3 percent, to $670.9 million (€599.8 million), in the period.

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Tags: amadeus, earnings, global distribution systems

Photo credit: Amadeus IT Group reported positive growth in the first quarter of 2019, supported by more than 14 percent year-over-year growth in North America. Amadeus

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