Southwest and Amadeus announced that they have signed a deal whereby the Amadeus Altea platform will host Southwest’s international service, which is operated by the merged AirTran Airways.
AirTran currently uses Navitaire for its reservations system, and Southwest and Amadeus will be working on migrating Southwest’s international service from Navitaire to Amadeus in 2014.
Southwest is the largest carrier in the US in terms of domestic passengers boarded, but, except for AirTran’s routes, doesn’t offer international service on its own.
But, the contract amounts to a split-decision of sorts: While Amadeus will handle international for Southwest, the airline for now will stick with its SAAS reservations system, a Sabre product, for domestic service.
However, the Amadeus-Southwest contract also has an option for Southwest to transition its domestic service¬†to Amadeus, as well.
At one point in the past, Southwest had indicated that Sabre and Amadeus were finalists to win a contract to provide a new passenger services system to the airline, but then Southwest put off the decision, citing the priorities of its AirTran integration.
“This agreement is a milestone for Amadeus, both in North America and beyond,” says Luis Maroto, Amadeus CEO. “Indeed, not only is Southwest an industry leader in terms of its size, the airline is also the global ‘standard’ for low-cost carriers, celebrating 39 consecutive years of profits.”
Amadeus has been left at the altar in North America before.
In 2005, Amadeus and United Airlines agreed to transition the airline’s reservation system from Apollo to the Amadeus Altea platform, but the contract was never implemented.