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Director, Corporate Communications, North America, Amadeus IT Group
“Beginning July 1, 2014, Bags Fly Free® beyond U.S. borders to Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica,” announced Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President and CEO, to employees and media assembled for a news conference at the carrier’s Dallas headquarters yesterday. “As our customers seamlessly click through southwest.com"
Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier of domestic passengers in the U.S., achieved a major milestone, announcingthat they are now selling seats on their first-ever scheduled international flights.
Kelly said these international destinations were now “open for sale.” Over the coming months the carrier will continue to announce additional new international service as well as the phased rollout connecting their U.S. domestic market network into their international portfolio of destinations.
He also referenced the “massive undertaking to get to this point” in their phased approach to convert all the international flying currently taking place on AirTran to Southwest by year end.
“Hundreds of Southwest warriors went into a multi-month, multi-year effort to get to this day and without their work we wouldn’t be here. That includes our partners, Amadeus, who were a strategic partner in the journey, said Randy Sloan, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Southwest. “Essentially we have implemented a new set of technologies which gives us the ability to both sell and fly internationally with a significant investment of time and money but the technology is just one component of it.” “The Amadeus system is up and live as of 12:05am this morning and there are a lot of people who can attest to that because they’ve been up all night,” joked Sloan during the press conference.
Sloan added that, as of the press conference which took place a few hours into selling international seats, the process was “operating exceptionally well.”
“Amadeus is honored to be an integral part of this achievement for Southwest. Through a collaborative, phased approach, our two companies have been working closely together since the initiative began. Our sole focus is to continue to ensure an ongoing successful implementation and support,” said Scott Gutz, president and CEO, Amadeus North America. “So on behalf of Amadeus and all our dedicated employees, congratulations Southwest and happy international flying.”
In April 2012 Southwest Airlines and Amadeus entered into this partnership, which marked a major milestone for Amadeus’ airline IT businessboth globally and in North America.
Originally published on the Amadeus North America blog.