Underscoring the critical importance of technology to the success of airline mergers, Travelport was recognized for its technology integration work undertaken as part of the merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. Travelport won the Stevie Award for "Product Development / Management Team of the Year" from the 2010 American Business Awards. This is the second consecutive year that Travelport gained recognition for outstanding IT achievement.
The airlines' merger presented a groundbreaking challenge and opportunity for Travelport's Airline IT Solutions team, a long-time systems and IT solution provider to both airlines, Travelport notes. The key project objective was to consolidate Northwest Airlines into the inventory management, reservations and related systems of Delta with no airline customer disruption. Integration of the airlines from an IT perspective in a timely manner was a key priority in terms of realizing synergies and presenting one face and experience to customers as rapidly as possible, Travelport says.
"The level of co-operation between the two companies was fantastic and there was regular detailed engagement and progress review with the most senior management in both companies throughout," Gordon Wilson, president and CEO of Travelport GDS said.
The team's most critical milestone between two Travelport inventory databases was the migration of Northwest's inventory databases and the other system which held Delta inventory, Travelport says. Other major milestones included the integration of customer loyalty and benefit programs (frequent flyer), crew scheduling, and infrastructure changes for ongoing projects such as fleet migration and aircraft maintenance systems. Modifications to over 8,100 program segments on the Delta system with over 10,000 program segments overall were made.