Integration of International Business AERTiCKET Acquires Majority Stake in Airtrade BV, a Company Owned by Dutch Group BCD Holdings

BERLIN and AMSTERDAM, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The acquisition of a majority stake of 85% in consolidator Airtrade Holland BV is an essential step for AERTiCKET towards the further expansion of its international business.

Airtrade was established in 1989 and is active as a successful consolidator in the Netherlands. Since 1998 the company has been part of the BCD Group, with its founders, Wim Butte and Andre Hesselink, continuing to grow the company dynamically. In 2012, the company issued almost 300,000 airline tickets.

"We are very pleased about the joint-venture with BCD, as it provides us with the opportunity to integrate our existing business with that of Airtrade in Europe, particularly in Spain and Poland, as well as in the US market. Simultaneously the take-over provides a solid basis for the build-up and growth of a 'Global Consolidator Network'," comments Rainer Klee, AERTiCKET's CEO.

"The participation of the international market leader of the consolidator business, offers BCD the opportunity to be perfectly prepared for all upcoming challenges in this branch of the travel industry," says Joop Drechsel, CEO of BCD Group.

Airtrade founder and CEO Wim Butte will continue to lead the company and the newly created international group.

"Airtrade will continue to offer consolidation services to travel agents, but the company will also act as a travel technology and fulfillment provider for airlines, OTAs and tour operators. The instant international scaling-up of our business positions Airtrade ideally to serve cross-border and global clients," says Wim Butte.

The integration of the international activities of AER into the Netherlands-based Airtrade delivers economic and organizational synergies to AERTiCKET, in the areas of IT as well as contracting. Moreover, the joint venture opens up new and broader product offerings to all clients interested in further international expansion of their business activities.

For AERTiCKET the acquisition of Airtrade will already increase the share of its annual sales obtained from international activities to about 40% this year.

Rainer Klee, Joop Drechsel and AERTiCKET's CFO Roland Kreling-Behmenburg are to be appointed members of the Airtrade supervisory board.


AERTiCKET AG is one of the largest air ticket wholesalers worldwide, with around 450 employees in 20 countries. For 20 years, the company has been a proficient and reliable business partner to travel agencies, tour operators and internet portals. Best prices, close contact to customers, and the development of innovative booking technologies are the company's key characteristics. 3.5 million tickets are issued annually by the AERTiCKET Group and there are 5.5 million air fares available in the consolidator's database.

AERTiCKET AG's shareholders are: AER Reiseburo Kooperation (a commercial network of independent travel agencies) and STA Travel, each holding 20.7% of the shares; the management, holding 10.014%; the remaining shares are held by VR meine Raiffeisenbank eG. In 2012 the company recorded gross sales of 1.4 billion euros. The AERTiCKET Group includes around a dozen subsidiaries and associated companies.

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About BCD Holdings

BCD Holdings N.V is a market leader in the travel industry. The Dutch, privately owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Vayama and Easytobook), Park 'N Fly (off-airport parking), TRX (travel transaction processing and data integration), Airtrade (consolidating and fulfillment), VakantieXperts (leisure) and Parkmobile International (mobile parking and traffic applications). BCD Holdings employs more than 13,000 people and operates in almost 100 countries with total sales, including franchising, of US$22.8 billion.

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About Airtrade Holland BV

Airtrade Holland BV is the leading airline ticket specialist for the travel trade in the Netherlands. Airtrade contracts and distributes airline tickets for travel agents, tour operators and online travel agents. Moreover Airtrade provides distribution and fulfillment services for the entire travel market. Airtrade is based in the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands.

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SOURCE: Airtrade Holland BV

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Ann Marie Ricard, 206-683-0552,

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