Amadeus is one of the tech giants within the travel industry, and makes a living off of building critical solutions to make traveling smoother for everyone involved. We had an interesting chat with Monica Hansen in their global External Communications team, to learn more about what makes Amadeus tick, their story and where they are going:
Could you please introduce Amadeus and your team?
We are a global company that build the critical solutions that help airlines and airports, hotels and railways, search engines, travel agencies and others to constantly improve the travel experience – billions of times a year, all over the world. Probably more of you have been exposed to our technology than you are aware of. For instance, here in Norway, if you have ever flown out of Gardermoen, or some of the other airports operated by Avinor, the check-in and boarding system is us. And we are part of the tech stack of both SAS, Norwegian and Flyr, with various solutions for their distribution, revenue management and operations. And if you have booked your trips through a travel agency, it is very likely that your booking has been done through our system as well.
Our headquarters are in Madrid, and globally we are made up of more than 17,000 people in more than 190 countries (which is more than McDonalds, by the way!). The team here in Oslo counts for 7 of those employees, and we hold a variety of local, regional or global roles within on our travel agency business area, working with commercial relationships, solutions and communications.
How and why was Amadeus founded? What problems or challenges did you see in the world that you wanted to solve?
Amadeus have more than 30 years of work behind us in building better journeys for travellers – and we are just getting started! We were founded in 1987 by four airlines: Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS. From our origins supporting airline distribution and then IT, we gradually expanded and diversified our capabilities significantly to serve customers across the entire travel industry. Fast-forward three decades, and Amadeus has become one of the world’s largest technology providers for travel and tourism. Want to know more? Watch our video here!
What’s the biggest impact you have seen on both your customers and the industry you work in?
The rapid technology enhancements we have seen over the last decade, and the sheer accessibility of it, has revolutionized our industry and also us as a company. It has enabled us to really leverage technology to improve the traveller experience in ways we never dreamt of in the earlier years. Now, we are taking it one step further, moving to the cloud, and to do so we have entered a strategic partnership with Microsoft. This move is the greatest technology transformation in the history of Amadeus – and we have done a few…Beyond that, there is of course one topic that is currently very heavily influencing our industry – and that is the climate challenge, and the need for focus on sustainability. It may seem like an oxymoron coming from us, who are making our living of people traveling and are now really trying to get people traveling again after the pandemic, but we are convinced that we can rebuild travel – but rebuild it better. It takes a village, though, so we cannot do it alone, but from our position at the hub of the overall travel ecosystem, we can be a driving force in this work. We have therefore been reinforcing our strategy to address environmental concerns, which is based on three pillars; the environmental efficiency of our operations, the development of IT solutions that help our customers improve their environmental efficiency and partnering with industry stakeholders in joint sustainability initiatives.
How do you work with innovation within your organization at large?
Innovation is part of Amadeus DNA since its creation. We invest heavily in R&D – more than 20% of our revenue – and we rely both on our internal strengths and partnering with startups. We have several structured programs to support our innovation objectives, including a startup investment program and Amadeus Nexwave, our business incubator that works with start-ups to identify, incubate and grow transformational ideas to shape the travel experience of tomorrow. Through Amadeus Startup Launchpad, we offer solutions & services, access to content and industry expertise to support startups’ go to market and growth. And our open developer portal allows developers to access Amadeus APIs to connect them to the content and capabilities they need to build exciting new travel solutions.
What’s in the pipeline that you’re working on? Anything exciting we should know about?
We have some quite ambitious plans in order to take further steps in making the full end-to-end travel experience – from inspiration and planning to on-trip and post-trip – radically smoother and more seamless than it is today. And thanks to our partnership with Microsoft, we have a few quite nifty solutions for corporate travel up our sleeves to be released soon… Watch this space!
Why did you choose to work from Epicenter?
We had “shrunk” away from our previous offices over the years, and being a small team, we were on the hunt for a place where we could get a more lively, dynamic and flexible working environment, with a bit of interaction and inspiration from other companies, very different to us. A central location, nice atmosphere and freshly baked bread every morning weighed in on the decision too!
Want to know more about Amadeus? Visit their website
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