US boost for Amadeus as Southwest opts for switch from Sabre

US low fare giant Southwest Airlines has dropped Sabre in favour of rival Amadeus in a major coup for the European technology company.

The move followed a competitive bid process for the airline’s future reservations system.

Sabre said its remains under contract to be compensated through to December 31, 2016 for continuing to provide reservations services for all US domestic flights.

Southwest Airlines’ reservations system contributed approximately 1% of total Sabre revenues, and 3% of adjusted earnings (EBITDA) last year.

Amadeus will provide its Altéa reservations solution for all Southwest services.

Southwest had already chosen Altéa as its reservations platform for international flights, which are due to start on July 1.

Southwest and Amadeus will partner to move to a single reservation system over the next few years.

Amadeus president and chief executive Luis Maroto said: “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.

“We are confident that Southwest will enrich our global airline community and look forward to their active involvement and contributions to the future evolution of the Altéa platform.”

Southwest chairman, president, and chief executive Gary Kelly said: “We are the largest domestic carrier in the US, 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.”

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