Amadeus is to build a common information technology platform for the Star Alliance.
The travel IT provider will use its Altea suite, already in use by other leading airlines, to build what both parties described as a “next generation” platform.
Currently Star's 16 members use different technologies. Under the deal, all will use the same which the Alliance said will bring in savings through both the automation and increased speed of business processes.
A statement by both sides said the new system would offer “enhanced customer service functionalities, specifically for both sales and airport environments” including in transactions such as schedule, availability, inventory, reservations, fare quote, ticketing and passenger check-in.
Under the deal, Lufthansa and United Airlines, the group's two leading members, will install the new platform first. It will then be rolled out to the other 14 members.
Lufthansa will begin switching to the Amadeus system in the second half of 2006 and expects to complete the process by 2007.
United is still working out its switchover timetable while the other Star members will install the system “in the near future.”
Star is also currently considering a change from the traditional GDSs to the new entries (GNEs). RFPs were sent out to four GNEs last month and a decision is expected by the Star board later this year.
Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance ceo said: “The Star Alliance Common IT Platform represents the realisation of a long time strategic goal, driven by the effort to better serve the customer, significantly lower IT costs and dramatically increase the speed of delivering new products to market.”
Wolfgang Mayrhuber, chairman and ceo of Lufthansa, said: “The project is testimony to the more intensive co-operation within Star Alliance, proving that we are not solely a sales and marketing alliance, but more importantly an alliance for the customer which makes seamless travel a reality.”