Press release

Southwest Airlines completes transition to Amadeus Altéa

Dan Batchelor

​Global Head Corporate Communications

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New IT platform now gives carrier more flexibility to improve the Customer Experience and enhance revenue performance

Southwest Airlines Co.  and Amadeus IT Group today jointly announced the carrier’s transition to the Amadeus Altéa Passenger Service System (PSS). At 101 airports across nine countries, all Southwest® domestic and international flights operating today and beyond will be managed through Altéa functionality, giving the carrier more flexibility to improve the Customer Experience and enhance revenue performance.
During the course of three years, a team of more than 1,500 people from both Southwest and Amadeus collaborated to bring together multiple reservation system capabilities onto one common platform under the Altéa Suite of products. The new reservation system brings an array of features designed to allow Southwest to: optimize its flight schedule, including improved connection times; more easily manage inventory between any given origin and destination; govern the value of potential ancillary services; and  automate rebookings during flight disruptions, such as those caused by extreme weather and other operational challenges.
Southwest expects the new reservation system to generate approximately $500 million in incremental annual earnings before interest and taxes by 2020 through added functionality and operational capabilities.

Our deepening partnership with Amadeus makes way for a bright future through new tools that empower our people to do what they do best, which is to provide world famous hospitality

“Transitioning to a single reservation system is a transformational milestone for Southwest, and in fact, it’s the single largest technology initiative in our company’s history. I want to congratulate and thank thousands of our employees and our partners who have worked tirelessly and diligently for several years to bring this home,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airline's Chairman & CEO. “Our deepening partnership with Amadeus makes way for a bright future through new tools that empower our people to do what they do best, which is to provide world famous hospitality.”
As part of the ongoing partnership, the carrier began operating international flights through the Amadeus Altéa PSS beginning in July 2014. On Dec. 6, 2016, Southwest continued to streamline operations into more of the Altéa Suite by channeling bookings beyond May 8, 2017, through a single reservation system.
“This is an exciting time at Southwest, and our work with Amadeus IT Group provides a foundation that propels us into the future,” said Randy Sloan, Southwest Airline's Senior Vice President and CIO.
“Southwest is the largest carrier of passengers within the United States 1, and we are delighted it entrusted Amadeus with developing the new cornerstone of its business,” said Luis Maroto, President and CEO, Amadeus. “We pride ourselves in developing innovative and customized technologies to help our airline partners adapt and evolve their products to reflect the needs of travelers, and we are proud to be collaborating with this leading U.S. airline.”
“We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with Southwest, and we consider our partnership a testament to the quality of our technology and our people. Our team is dedicated to helping airlines become next-generation retailers,” said Julia Sattel, Senior Vice President Airlines and Executive Committee Member Amadeus IT Group.
Teams for both companies continue to work behind the scenes and on the ground in several of the carrier’s locations to support this transformational change.
1 Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier as measured by the number of originating domestic passengers boarded.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company's financial outlook and projected results of operations; and (ii) the Company's plans and expectations with respect to its new reservation system, and the Company’s related multi-faceted financial and operational expectations and opportunities. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current intent, expectations, and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) changes in demand for the Company's services and other changes in consumer behavior; (ii) the impact of economic conditions, fuel prices, actions of competitors (including without limitation pricing, scheduling, capacity and network decisions, and consolidation and alliance activities), governmental actions, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on the Company's business decisions, plans, and strategies; (iii) the Company's dependence on third parties, in particular with respect to its technology plans and expectations; (iv) the Company's ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (v) the impact of labor matters on the Company's business decisions, plans, strategies, and costs; and (vi) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016.


Airline IT, North America, Altea

This article is also available in these languages: Español, French