Travel agents today are realising that booking easyJet via Amadeus Light Ticketing makes business sense because it’s easy and fast. But most importantly, it promotes better customer service with a more complete offer, better tracking and faster rebookings.
But that wasn’t the case back in 2013, when easyJet came knocking on our door with a plan to increase its business travel bookings. It made perfect sense, though. With a firm position as pioneer in the direct booking and ancillary revenue models that are popular today, we were talking to Europe’s 4th largest airline carrying more than 68 million passengers annually.
Going corporate with a new distribution strategy
easyJet knew business travellers were already choosing to travel on its planes, but needed to really break into Europe’s estimated £20 billion market. With approximately 67% of business and first class bookings generated through the indirect channel, easyJet saw it needed to adapt its distribution strategy.
But how do you fit easyJet’s direct booking model with that of corporate travel, which traditionally involves a business travel agent, Travel Management Company (TMC) and online self-booking tool? 4 steps:
- develop an adapted business offering
Inclusive and Flexi Fares added to easyJet’s existing Standard Fare
- extend booking
bookable on the Amadeus eTravel Management corporate self-booking tool & Amadeus subscribers
- add ancillary services to the indirect channel
such as extra bags and seats
- cater to agency’s needs
distribution relationship managers liaising with key partners and supporting adoption
Finding the right technology
Technology-wise, easyJet decided to pilot one of our unique solutions developed specifically for Low Cost and Hybrid Carriers, called Amadeus Ticketless Access. Plenty of reasons why:
- keeps connectivity simple using XML
while retaining existing systems and business processes
- remains cost-effective
with no ticketing, BSP or fare filing costs
- stays easy and flexible
with a solution that was up and running quickly
- offers real-time fares and availability to travel sellers
who can book, modify and cancel itineraries
- allows for full control
with direct and mandatory payments at the time of booking
Uniting easyJet’s business offer, our technology and the agency booking process
After Amadeus Ticketless Access had proven its value, easyJet was interested in driving greater awareness and adoption amongst TMC and agency partners. Amadeus Light Ticketing flow was ideal, since it’s designed to work seamlessly with agency workflows.
Amadeus personnel were appointed as LCC market champions and placed in the airline’s target markets, starting with the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany.
These champions were assigned to driving easyJet adoption through an education and training programme with TMC and corporate partners – from agency headquarters to corporate centres to individual travel consultants.
easyJet now works with over 80 travel agency partners across Europe, and bookings continue to grow with around 12 million business passengers carried annually.
The results are impressive. easyJet has seen its GDS-based bookings with Amadeus double year-over-year, both online and offline:
- business travellers now represent 20% of easyJet’s total bookings
with around 1 out of every 5 passengers travelling for business
- travel agencies using Amadeus Light Ticketing have recorded booking growth
nearly 3 times faster compared to other agencies
- a major shift in travel agency booking behaviour
the proportion of easyJet bookings made via Amadeus versus the web has increased 45% for FY2015 compared to FY2014
Travel agencies benefit too
Through targeted adoption initiatives agents are realising that booking easyJet via Amadeus Light Ticketing makes sense:
- book LCCs as easily as any other airline
through a uniform light ticketing booking flow
- book LCCs 5x times faster
on Amadeus than the web
- drive efficiency and profitability
with up to € 3.40 additional saving per round trip and up to € 6 for rebookings or changes
- easily track business performance
with 100% seamless integration of all LCC bookings in your mid- and back- office systems
- offer better customer service
with a more complete and competitive offer, better tracking and faster rebookings / changes
This video gives you an idea of the benefits of LCC for travel agencies in less than 4 minutes. And, yes, it features real travel agents talking about their work.
The easyJet business story in 1 chart
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