While you were away… Amadeus, which provides the reservations and booking technology for many major airlines, has had an up down festive season. In late December Amadeus was named the World’s Leading CRS/GDS at the World Travel Awards. Five days later Amadeus resolved its long-standing dispute with Lufthansa, signing a full content agreement that enables travel agents to access all Lufthansa and Swiss airlines inventory without having to pay a surcharge previously imposed by the carriers. But 2010 got off to a rocky start when its Altea reservations system employed by Qantas crashed on January 3, following an earlier outage in November, causing chaos at airports around Australia. A rare hiccup from an industry powerhouse that’s been going from strength to strength. No official word yet on what caused the drama.
In other news, agency giant Flight Centre confirmed it has re-resigned with Galileo, Qantas claimed it has gained one million new Frequent Flyer members thanks to a reciprocal loyalty agreement with retailer Woolworths; Qantas now has 6.75m Frequent Flyers and aims to have 7m by June. Qantas also quit the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines, saying it would prefer to deal directly with potential partner carriers such as AirAsia, which has just entered into an operational alliance with low-cost Qantas subsidiary Jetstar forecast to save the partners A$300m through bulk buying initiatives combined with the sharing of some services.