Southwest Airlines and Amadeus IT Group report entering into a joint contract for Amadeus’ Altéa reservations solution that will support the carrier’s domestic service. Amadeus’ Altéa reservations solution currently supports the Southwest's international service.
In a joint statement, the companies noted that 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 Amadeus’ Altéa solution 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 CEO. “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 said they 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. 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,” said Luis Maroto, president and CEO, Amadeus.
After two years of work, Southwest began selling international itineraries in January 2014 using Amadeus’ Altéa reservation solution. The carrier will begin flying those itineraries on July 1, 2014.
Southwest is Amadeus’ largest U.S. 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’ largest airline IT partner worldwide in terms of passengers boarded.
Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and by the end of 2014 intends to complete the full integration of the AirTran network into Southwest.