Events News

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EVENTS: The Global AirRail Alliance (GARA), an organization promoting rail access to airports, and the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), an association of regional and local authorities across Europe with an international airport situated within or near its territory, have partnered to bring the 8th Global AirRail Conference and Awards to Brussels on 13-14th November 2017.

The annual Global AirRail Conference and Awards brings air-rail professionals from all over the world to discuss the passenger intermodality segment between air and rail including the physical infrastructure integration, innovations in travel booking and planning, and improving passenger experience.

“I am very happy to announce the partnership with ARC as the association brings together a wide range of expertise from air transport as well as local and regional governments,” Director of GARA Milda Manomaityte said.

“At this year’s event, I would like to focus the debate on the challenges the local and national governments will be facing with the arrival of new mobility services, implementing new legislations and working with airports to ensure seamless integration of different transportation modes to improve employee access and passenger experience.”

“I am particularly interested to hear the discussions on how this will impact rail access to airports, what measures rail operators will have to take to compete with new mobility providers and what partnerships can be formed to stimulate business growth,” Milda added.

Each year ARC explors two or three specific topics, ranging from training and employment gaps, to ultrafine particles, territorial marketing, or the noise issues. However, surface access to airports has been a constant concern for local and regional authorities and this year ARC is dedicating the discussions to airport access issues, focusing on economic, social and environmental impacts on airport regions.

“I am happy to welcome the global air-rail community to Brussels and look forward to creating links with the local and regional policy makers,” Secretary General for the Airport Regions Conference, Léa Bodossian said.

The Global AirRail Conference sessions will look at best practices in planning, building and operating rail links to airports, best marketing campaigns to ensure growth, innovations in customer experience at airports and air-rail links, as well as funding, policy and stakeholder engagement challenges.

The event will also host the annual Global AirRail Awards, recognizing the effort, best practices and results of the global air-rail community. The entries for the awards will open on 1st of June 2017 and close on 1st of October 2017. The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony in Brussels on 14th of November 2017.

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GERMANY: Amadeus and Distribusion Technologies signed a partnership agreement, bringing over 300 airport bus transfer and intercity bus operators in 2,500 destinations to Amadeus travel seller network.

A single gateway to all this content means travel sellers can easily broaden their offer, attract new types of customers and drive revenues, all while forgetting about costly one-to-one setup and commercial relationships.

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With content, search, booking, payment, ticketing and settlement capabilities covered, travel agencies can focus on adapting this new offer to travellers, and in turn, bus companies will be more visible to new customers in new channels, ultimately driving sales growth. Initially, Amadeus travel sellers in central, eastern and southern Europe will be able to access Distribusion bus content with more across the world expected to join soon.

Nearly one billion passengers per year use scheduled ground transport to get to and from the airport – made up primarily by 430 million passengers in Europe and 504 million in Asia-Pacific.

According to Distribusion, most of these bookings are made independently from the flight, directly with the bus and rail transport provider, which adds a layer of inconvenience for passengers when planning their journey.

“Travelling by bus is an attractive choice for many, but could be for many more. Bus operators now have a complete package to unlock growth and make a significant footprint in the global travel industry. Our two partnerships with Distribusion could not come at a better moment, when new entrants and market dynamics are pushing towards improving the overall offer and experience” said Antoine de Kerviler, Head of Rail & Ground Travel at Amadeus. “Imagine booking a convenient airport bus transfer on top of your flight and a weekend getaway by rail – all on the same itinerary through your travel retailer – this is door-to-door travel at its best.”

Julian Hauck, Founder & CEO of Distribusion said: “travel sellers are paying more attention to bus travel to continue enriching their offer to travellers, and have been longing to add this kind of content in a simple, standardised and effective way for some time. The combination of our market leading bus content with Amadeus’ travel seller network will open the door to new travellers. We’re really looking forward to this new phase with Amadeus.”

Distribusion is the leading global distributor (GDS) for airport transfer and intercity bus rides, enabling travel retailers to connect with airport transfer and bus operators worldwide. The portfolio of 4 million bus rides of 300+ operators to 2,500+ destinations and 200+ airports make Distribusion the market leader in Europe.

Distribusion will take part in the Airport Access Ideas Forum, taking place in London on 7th of June, discussing why bus transfer is relevant for airport passengers, and what technical barriers & challenges exist today to link bus with air travel.

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USA: The ground transportation booking platform Mozio Inc. and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA have launched a partnership to bring mobile ticketing to SEPTA’s Airport Line. From now on, people traveling between the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and City Centre will be able to purchase SEPTA Airport Line tickets anytime, anywhere, from the convenience of their mobile devices. During the six-month pilot program, the app will also allow users to book Lyft, local taxi and sedan rides on Mozio’s multimodal platform, with plans to add additional ground transportation providers over the course of the summer and into the fall. The partnership breaks ground for both organizations, as the debut of mobile ticketing on SEPTA and the launch of Mozio’s mobile compliment to its online platform.

To get started, travellers download the Mozio app, create a free account, and search for transportation options between PHL and their destination. For searches within a 15 minute walk of SEPTA’s five Center City Regional Rail Stations, the SEPTA Airport Line will be prominently displayed as an efficient and economical means of travel. Electronic tickets are stored in the Mozio app and visually validated by conductors onboard. SEPTA Airport Line customers will gain the flexibility to buy tickets months ahead of time or while standing on the station platform, while eliminating the need to carry cash or keep track of a paper ticket. The app is currently available on iOS with plans to launch on Android later this year.

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“We are thrilled to be working with SEPTA and launching our multimodal app in the economic and cultural hub that is Philadelphia,” said Mozio CEO David Litwak. “Cities can be stressful to navigate, particularly for visitors and individuals unfamiliar with the ground transit options available to them. Our platform seeks to provide anxiety-free travel, allowing individuals to compare, contrast, and ultimately book the modes of transit that best suit their needs.”

The Mozio and SEPTA partnership will bring a variety of benefits to both parties. By adding the Airport Line to Mozio’s platform, SEPTA will gain visibility – including international exposure – to a large number of the 30+ million visitors that will travel to Philadelphia this year for work, vacation, the NFL draft, college graduations, 4th of July Festivities, and more. Mozio currently works with leading corporate and leisure travel entities including, Kayak, Skyscanner, hotels, airlines, and travel management companies.

Launching a multimodal booking app is a natural extension of Mozio’s existing portfolio, and Philadelphia is an excellent testbed for understanding how public transit can serve air travelers. “Having spent the last five years aggregating 3,000 ground transportation providers in over 2,500 cities onto a single platform, we are well-positioned to launch the world’s first scalable mobility as a service solution,” added John McGinty who directs public transit partnerships and is managing the Philadelphia pilot. “Our goal is for individuals to be able to book convenient, reliable, and affordable ground transportation around the world, on a familiar platform in the language and currency they are most comfortable with.” The customer feedback and data Mozio collects during the pilot will help inform enhanced functionality the company seeks to rollout in the near future, including the ability for customers to stitch together rides, seamlessly booking a bike to a metro, train to a cab, and more with a single transaction.

Mozio will take part in the Airport Access Ideas Forum, taking place in London on 7th of June, with the presentation "3,000 Providers and Counting: Lessons Learned Building a Global Multimodal Transit Platform"

The Mozio app is now available for download. Individuals can download the mobile app by visiting or by searching for “Mozio” on the iOS App Store.

For more information about Mozio, visit or email John McGinty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information about Mozio and SEPTA’s partnership, please visit

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EVENTS: Regulars at Middle East Rail felt that numbers were down on previous years, perhaps reflecting the number of rail projects in the region that appear to be on pause. Despite this there was an august roster of keynote speakers. H.E. Dr Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, & Chairman, Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime UAE, H.E. Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General, Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council talked of the need for a more active private sector investment in projects, perhaps reflecting the need for a top-up on direct government finance with oil prices remaining relatively low. H.E. Dr Rumaih Al Rumaih, President, Public Transport Authority, & President, Saudi Railways Organisation added that urban transport projects in Makkah, Damman, Jeddah and Medina are moving towards PPP structures.

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Meanwhile, as if to prepare for a post-Brexit Britain, Paul Maynard MP, Rail Minister, Department for Transport UK, maximised on the UK’s first mover advantage in railways to push nearly 200 years of expertise on this large export market. Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail was similarly on-message, mentioning several times how his Network Rail Consulting division, already ensconced in Saudi Arabia’s North-South Railway, could do much more. Hendy’s talk was timely as NRC (with Serco and Freightliner) had helped Saudi Arabian Railways launched the first commercial passenger service from Riyadh to Al Qassim. The route also includes British station design that incorporates function and form; stations that are modern and reflect Saudi culture and heritage. 

His talk focused on lessons learnt from different rail industry structures (and the UK has seen them all) and how they might be applied in the region. He also gave an insight into Network Rail’s latest direction, devolving power to geographical routes which will be separately regulated. He also talked about the need for private sector capital, and how they were looking to ‘open up the network’ to private project organisations.

Perhaps the star of Middle East Rail 2017 was a transport mode that can’t be described as ‘rail’, Hyperloop One. Boasting a 12 minute journey time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi there was much interest from many in the rail industry wondering if this disruptive technology might be about to replace them. In next week’s airrail NEWS, Leanne Wheeler, special correspondent and customer experience specialist will provide a detailed update on Hyperloop One and discuss some of their plans to revolutionise mobility and ‘redefine regions’.

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EVENT: Global AirRail Alliance and Norton Rose Fulbright will co-host the first Airport Access Ideas Forum in London on Wednesday 7th of June 2017.

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The interactive ideas forum will focus on challenges and opportunities related to the provision of seamless access to national and international airports around the world, improving customer experience and reducing carbon emissions.

Participants will look at how new technology and the sharing economy is changing road access and car parking businesses at airports, as well as the opportunities public transport can deliver for airport operators in terms of non-aeronautical revenue, improved customer experience and business development.

Duncan Field, partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:“The progressive growth in air passenger numbers has created challenges for operators globally in ensuring easy access to their airports, and has meant that future proofing airport developments has become increasingly important. We see this already in the UK with road and rail improvements playing a central role in current and proposed airport expansion projects but new technology, ranging from drones that can transport passengers and their luggage, through to the increasing use of software applications and big data, have the potential to transform how passengers access airports and to create new commercial opportunities.”

“Airport Access Ideas Forum is an experience bringing the highest level professionals from the aviation and ground transport industries. The event format takes an interactive shape to include all participants for more engaging discussions and product demonstrations,” Milda Manomaityte, Director of the Global AirRail Alliance said.

The hosts are inviting established transport operators, start-ups and technology companies that are working on passenger mobility innovations to join the forum and submit a proposal for a short presentation in four dedicated areas – Rail, Bus/Coach, Car (including private vehicle, parking, taxi, car sharing and car hailing services), and Future Transport.

Presentations should focus on these key topics:

  • autonomous vehicles,
  • car parking,
  • revenue and funding for surface access projects,
  • wayfinding and passenger information,
  • public and private transport integration,
  • airport employee access,
  • big data,
  • new transport technologies 
  • pedestrian and cycling,
  • transit oriented development.

Submissions should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">