US budget airline to implement Amadeus technology

US low fares giant Southwest Airlines is to implement Amadeus technology as it prepares to launch its first international flights in 2014.

A joint contract for Amadeus’ Altéa reservations solution has been agreed and would support the carrier’s international services.

Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways currently serves international destinations and will transfer to Southwest operations with Amadeus supporting the international flying.

The Amadeus IT Group agreement focuses on the international element of Southwest’s booking system but also provides the option for Southwest to convert its domestic business to Amadeus in the future.

Gary Kelly, the carrier’s chairman, president and chief executive, said: “We could not be more impressed with the experience and knowledge Amadeus IT Group brings to the table.

“They are a premier technology provider, and we are confident in their ability to meet and exceed our needs as we prepare for the exciting opportunity to extend the Southwest brand into the international marketplace.”

Luis Maroto, president and chief executive of Amadeus hailed the deal as a “milestone” for Amadeus, both in North America and beyond.

“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 year of profits,” he said.

Julia Sattel senior vice president of Amadeus airline IT added: “Southwest has clearly selected Amadeus because of the strength of our diverse product portfolio, the capabilities of our people, and also our unmatched ability to help the airline maintain its low cost structure while providing innovative technologies that can support an ever-evolving business model.”

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