Amadeus was founded in 1987 by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS as an alternative to the American GDS. Amadeus coordinates the search, pricing, reservation and issue of tickets, inventory management and departure control systems. As of 31 December 2012 the principal clients of Amadeus included 716 airline companies (of which 73 were low-cost companies), 100 railway companies, 50 sea transport companies, 31 hire companies, 300 hotel chains (with a total of more than 250,000 hotels), 91,000 travel agencies, 239 tour operators and 22 insurance companies. Its business is based on the number of transactions; in other words it receives a percentage of the total cost of each individual transaction that it performs on behalf of the client. As of 31 December 2012 the information systems managed by Amadeus had processed more than 1 billion  transactions (to be precise 1,091,300,000).

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