Continental, United will seek shared I.T. platform under Star
By Michael Fabey
Continental and United plan to forge a
common information-technology system
as part of their new relationship as Star
Alliance partners, Continental CEO Larry
“What we continue to be focused on
is getting Continental and United on a
common platform,” Kellner said last week
during a quarterly earnings call with reporters and Wall Street analysts.
“Where it is appropriate, when we are
ready, we will announce where we are going,” Kellner said.
But, he added, both airlines share the
goal of creating a common platform,
which, he said, “will solve a lot of customer issues.”
He said, “From the customer service
side, one of the challenges we have always
had in these alliances is I. T.”
The Transportation Department, over
the objections of the Justice Department
Rochelle Lorraine [answered question] A: Hi Yvonne I do not think there would be any direct flight. You could do ... more
No other travel solution provides
better professional connections.
and others, recently granted the Star Alliance’s request for expanded antitrust
immunity, bringing Continental into
the group as part of a four-carrier joint
venture with Air Canada, Lufthansa and
As part of its request, the alliance said
its members would see significant reductions in fixed and operating costs as a result of technology integration.
Airlines are obviously putting greater
stock in the importance of I. T. integration
for carrier mergers, as well. Delta hired an
outside academic expert to assess parts of
that integration in its merger plan with
Blending I. T. platforms for two carriers that will become a merged corporate
entity is one thing; creating a common
platform for two carriers that are part of
a bigger alliance with separate corporate
airline operations will be another.
United, the creator of the Apollo system, uses Travelport, which owns Apollo,
for its I. T. platform, while Continental relies on Shares, provided by Hewlett-Pack-ard’s EDS. Amadeus provides a common
I. T. platform for Star.
“From an I.T. side, there are always
challenges,” Kellner said. “But a lot of that
work is done, and I feel confident. Clearly
sitting here today, we are always worried
about revenue hiccups as you have I. T. issues and other things.”
The best travel agents know there is only
Q: If your passport does not
have a barcode; how would
you go about getting one?
one place for quality collaboration, our
free online community, AgentStream.
“the power behind you” are tradema ks r of an affiliate o a f S bre Hold ngs i
Corporat n. o i All other trademarks are the pr per o ty of th i e r respecti o ve wners. ©2009 Sabre Inc. l Al h rig s r t er s e ed. v TN _ _09 1119 07 1_ 09
If you’re a true travel professional,
regardless of GDS affiliation, you
should join and take advantage of
United, creator of the Apollo
system, uses Travelport
for its I. T. platform, while
Continental relies on
Shares, provided by EDS.
our connections too.
Q: How do I get someone from
India to Seychelles ... more
Who’s powering your performance?
In times like these, it matters.
Part of the problem is that Continental
must first fully depart the Sky Team alliance before the carrier can join Star and
the true integration can begin.
“On Oct. 24 we will leave SkyTeam,”
Kellner said. “We will be in Star just as
fast as we can be after that. It won’t be
seamless in the sense that we cut out of
Sky Team on the 24th and go to Star on
But, he added, “Think days, don’t
think weeks or months. We just can’t do
anything until we get out of Sky Team to
jointly market with any of the Star partners, or be involved with any of the Star
There will be a booking and marketing
lull, Kellner said. “You do have a period
where you are taking bookings for November and December where you are not
yet in Star, but yet you are not marketing
Sky Team carriers.”
Continental and United executives have
been very careful, too, to point out the
DOT antitrust approval only covers international service.
That’s not to say the carriers wouldn’t
like to see such immunity for domestic
operations. As James Compton, Continental executive vice president of marketing,
told analysts last week: “Oh, we wish.”