The proposed merger of Chile-based LAN Airlines and Brazil's TAM could have an impact on GDS and airline-alliance relationships.
TAM migrated to the Amadeus reservations system in 2009, and although the LAN res system is currently an Amadeus-Resiber hybrid, LAN revealed in early 2010 that it had signed a mulityear agreement to transition to Sabre as its reservations system provider.
Although it might seemingly make sense for the merged airlines to remain on the Amadeus system, presumably there would be signficant penalties if LAN were to attempt to back out of its Sabre contract.
Of the LAN-TAM merger announcement, Sabre spokeswoman Nancy St. Pierre says: "We don't expect the merger to impact LAN's migration to SabreSonic Customer Sales and Service."
The migration had been slated for a 2011 implementation.
Asked if there had been any delay in development work, St. Pierre says: "Everything is going according to plan."
Another wrinkle in the merger is that LAN is a member of oneworld while TAM belongs to the rival Star Alliance.
The merged airline would make for a huge carrier in Latin America and the tug of war between the alliances and the GDS fallout, if any, should be interesting.