It’s official: American Airlines will seek off-the-shelf passenger services system

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Published: June 27, 2012

American Airlines asked its bankruptcy court to approve a deal between the carrier and HP Enterprise Services to dissolve their contract to build a next-generation passenger services system.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 28, but since both parties have agreed to the terms, the deal is not likely to meet with opposition.

In papers filed with the court, American said it had worked with HP over the past two years to develop the new PSS, dubbed Jetstream, but was “unable to reach agreement on a number of key issues affecting the project’s direction.”

An orderly termination of the agreement was “in the best interests ofbboth parties,” American said.

Maya Leibman, the carrier’s chief information officer, told the Dallas Morning News that American was looking at existing systems and that she hoped to select a new PSS vendor by the end of the year.

Reports that the relationship between American and HP was not progressing as planned surfaced in February. American maintained that it was committed to the Jetstream project but added that “we are currently evaluating the vendors best-suited to ensure the successful delivery of such a transformational initiative.”

Some observers believe the split came about because of ITA Software’s role in the development of the new system.

In January 2011, American announced a deal with ITA for an “availability engine” that would marry the airline’s proprietary customer data with ancillary products to create highly customized offers to clients based on their status, history and other criteria.

The availability engine would be designed to integrate with Jetstream.

Monte Ford, then American’s chief information officer, said HP had been aware from the start that the airline would seek another vendor for that piece of the system.

But over time, some observers say, it became clear to HP that it would be developing a relative small piece of the PSS, which it had planned to market to other carriers under the name Agilaire.

It is not clear whether HP plans to continue development of  Agilaire.

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