Amadeus air bookings shift to ‘normal’ growth levels in Q1

Air bookings through Amadeus’ global distribution system in the first quarter increased 2.8 per cent year over year, which the company said showed a “normalization in our booking growth evolution.”

In what Amadeus president and CEO Luis Maroto called a “solid start to 2024”, first-quarter air distribution revenue for the Madrid-based travel tech giant increased 12.6 per cent year over year to €764.4 million.

On top of the increase in bookings, revenue per booking increased 9.5 per cent year over year, which Amadeus attributed to a lower mix of local bookings and such pricing effects as inflation and adjustments from new air distribution agreements and agreement renewals.

Bookings in the Asia-Pacific region drove the air bookings growth in the quarter, up 31.2 per cent year over year, and bookings in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe were up 17.3 per cent. Other regions were flat to down, including a 9.5 per cent drop in North America and a 15.8 per cent drop in Latin America.

Western Europe and North America remain Amadeus’ largest regions for air bookings in the quarter, although North America’s share of the total dropped by more than 3 percentage points, from 28.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 to 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2024.

Amadeus said part of that stemmed from a “very large online travel agency,” which it cited in the previous quarter’s earnings report but has not been publicly identified, that has established direct connections with several large North American carriers.

Amadeus said bookings in the first quarter were also affected by the timing of Ramadan and Easter, which were largely in the first quarter this year as opposed to last year, when they were largely in the second quarter.

Excluding those effects, Amadeus estimated its air bookings growth for the quarter was 8 per cent year over year. As it’s still a far cry from the nearly 33 percent growth levels seen in the first quarter of 2023, Amadeus said the industry is moving away from the “recovery curve” following the Covid-19 pandemic to a more normal growth pattern.

The growth is in line with the International Air Transport Association’s forecast, which projects 10 per cent year-over-year growth in global air traffic this year compared with 38 per cent year-over-year growth in 2023.

Total revenue at Amadeus increased 14.1 per cent year over year during the quarter to €1.5 billion. Air IT solutions revenue increased 17 per cent to €497 million and hospitality and other solutions revenue increased 13.2 per cent to €234.9 million.

Amadeus reported a profit of €313.9 million from the quarter, up 19.6 per cent from a €262.4 million profit in the first quarter of 2023.