Southwest Airlines and Amadeus IT Group have announced that they have entered into a joint contract for Amadeus’s Altéa reservations solution that will support the carrier’s domestic service. Altéa currently supports the company’s international service, and Southwest has long indicated a desire to operate just one reservation system, operating multiple systems following the acquisition of AirTran and the launch of international service on Southwest. After months of due diligence, the airline selected Altéa based on a successful international launch and future capabilities.
“We were pleased with the international launch, and we could not be more impressed with the experience of Amadeus and the capabilities of their product,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive. “We are the largest domestic carrier in the United States, and we believe having one reservation system will provide a better operation for our employees and our customers as we embark on our very bright future domestically and abroad.”
Over the next few years, Southwest and Amadeus will partner to move to a single reservation system. Until then, the airline will continue with two reservation platforms after the sunset of the AirTran brand in December 2014.
“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Southwest,” said Luis Maroto, President and Chief Executive, Amadeus. “Without question, this is truly a landmark IT partnership for Amadeus, and we are committed to delivering a successful transition to a single reservation system. We are confident that Southwest will enrich our global airline community and look forward to their active involvement and contributions to the future evolution of the Altéa platform.”
After two years of work, Southwest began selling international itineraries in January 2014 using Amadeus’s Altéa reservation solution. The carrier will begin flying those itineraries on 1st July 2014.
“This is an exciting time in the Technology Department of Southwest Airlines, and I could not be more enthusiastic about this partnership with Amadeus,” said Randy Sloan, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “There is much work ahead of us, but I am confident in our team and the future possibilities and capabilities we will develop to help fly Southwest into the future.”
Southwest is Amadeus’s largest US airline IT partner in terms of domestic passengers boarded annually. Amadeus has more than 100 airlines on their reservation system — mostly based in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Once implemented, Southwest will be Amadeus’s largest airline IT partner worldwide in terms of passengers boarded.
“We have had the distinct pleasure of working with Southwest to support its international flying, and we are excited to now expand our successful partnership to include domestic flying,” said Julia Sattel, Senior Vice President, Airline IT, Amadeus. “Our joint success to date is due in no small part to the complementary cultures of our two organisations, our shared respect for our team members, and a relentless focus on execution and delivery.”