Benelux blog
Let’s shape the future of travel
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The sustained success of Amadeus in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg is in no small part thanks to the continued efforts of our General Manager Luc Pannecoeck. The Baasrode-native joined Amadeus in 1993 after a 15-year stint with Sabena.

Recently, Luc Pannecoeck has announced that he will retire in January 2019. We would like to thank Luc in the name of the entire Amadeus Benelux team and wish him a healthy and fulfilling retirement.

Luc Pannecoeck_amadeus_benelux_copyright_maitrise

Looking back at an illustrious career

Luc was always fascinated by the travel industry, even when he was just a little kid in the seventies. When he heard of Amadeus, a relative newcomer in these days, Luc was charmed by its startup mentality and immediately recognized Amadeus’ incredible potential.

When he became our General Manager in 1993, Luc immediately started developing that potential and opened new offices in both the Netherlands in 1995 and Luxembourg in 1999. Luc also became the legal representative for the Amadeus office in Antwerp – an R&D Center operated by our head office in Nice.

In September 2015, Amadeus Benelux extended its leisure solutions offering through the acquisition of Pyton Travel Technology, a Dutch company based in Eindhoven. Luc explained the importance of the acquisition: “Dynamic packaging is becoming ever more important, and Pyton allows us to offer more relevant content as well as a larger variety of low cost carriers through our system.”

Where there were just 8 colleagues at the start of Luc’s story, today more than 200 people work at Amadeus Benelux. The ultimate testament to a job well done.

People manager through and through

In 2011, Luc Pannecoeck won the Travel Magazine Award – Man of the Year for his achievements in the travel industry. As the GM of Amadeus he played an integral part in bringing the latest technologies to the tourism and travel industry in the Benelux.

Just last year, in 2018, Luc also received the Life Achievement Award at the TM Travel Awards in Antwerp. This award is a recognition of Luc’s contributions to the development of the travel industry throughout his care.

Were those awards the highlight of Luc’s career? “It was an honor, to be sure, but I would like to be remembered most for the human aspect of my leadership. Helping other people grow – that always mattered most to me. And I don’t think anyone has ever seen me angry.”

Anticipating the future of travel

“Travelers want to be recognized as individuals, but that doesn’t mean packages will disappear. There will always be a demand, but it might become very small,” Luc predicts. “There have been huge changes these last 10 years, especially in business travel. Business travelers typically had no choice at all. Today they want to be able to choose their own hotel and stay on a couple of days if they can.”

The biggest change in the travel industry? “The arrival of New Distribution Capabilities, undoubtedly. The innovation came from IATA, but we moved quickly and integrated it in our technology without a hitch. Now Amadeus can help integrate the technology as smoothly as possible and cause minimal disruption for clients and travelers.“

Where Amadeus is headed

Mobile technology, artificial intelligence, big data,… these innovations have a profound impact on our industry. They provide travelers with better ideas, more control, and more fun. Amadeus is surfing on that same wave and working profusely to create more personalised customer journeys.”

Who will lead Amadeus Benelux?

The departure of Luc Pannecoeck will assuredly leave a large gap. Thankfully, 5 highly capable people will try their best to fill his shoes – together. All Luc’s former commercial tasks will be distributed between the different segment leaders:

More information on the 5 new leaders and their responsibilities will be shared as soon as possible.

For now we would like to thank Luc for a quarter century of extraordinary dedication to Amadeus and look forward to sustained success in the Benelux!

Award photo top © Maîtrise

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