Southwest picks Amadeus for domestic reservations system

Washington DC
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Updated with Sabre statement in last paragraph

Southwest Airlines has chosen Amadeus' Altéa platform to supply its new domestic reservations system, after it previously picked the provider to implement its international reservations 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," says Gary Kelly, Southwest's 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."

Choosing Amadeus would enable the airline to standardise its reservations systems across the board. Southwest said earlier this year that it plans to replace its domestic reservations system and was looking at vendors. The airline had been using Sabre to sell its domestic flights while its subsidiary AirTran Airways' domestic reservations system was run on Navitaire New Skies.

Southwest plans to complete the integration of AirTran by end-2014, and says it will continue using the two different domestic reservations systems until the AirTran brand is phased out.

"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," says Luis Maroto, Amadeus CEO and president.

Southwest, which is taking over AirTran's international flights, began selling those flights in January with the Amadeus Altéa system. Southwest will operate its first international flights with its own metal on 1 July.

In response to the selection of Amadeus, Sabre says that its contract with Southwest entitles it to be compensated through 31 December 2016. "Sabre's broad portfolio of airline solutions continues to provide opportunity for the company to work with Southwest going forward through its currently installed solutions, as well as future opportunities," says Sabre.