United Airlines and Amadeus officially dissolved their long-stalled contract to migrate the airline's internal reservations system to the Amadeus Altéa platform from Travelport's Apollo system.
United Airlines will make a one-time $75 million payment to Amadeus to get out of the contract.
The project had been stalled for years and was killed when United Airlines merged with Continental Airlines and opted to migrate the United's res system on Apollo to the EDS SHARES system that handles internal reservations for Continental over the next 12 to 18 months.
At a conference call about their first quarter of 2011 financial results today, Amadeus officials said perhaps United, which is part of the Star Alliance, could consider the Altéa platform for the merged airline in the future. In dissolving the contract, the two companies said they will look for ways to continue mutually beneficial partnerships.
Meanwhile, Philippe Chérèque, executive vice president, commercial, for Amadeus, said the loss of the United migration will not lead to any downsizing of its airline IT efforts in the U.S. market, where it has a number of negotiations under way.
In other news, Luis Maroto, the Amadeus CEO, said the decision by Delta Air Lines to pursue a direct-connect strategy will not alter the Amadeus approach to the U.S. market. Maroto said Amadeus is proposing solutions to U.S. airlines that are more efficient than the current direct-connect approach.
Amadeus also provided an update about its proposed sale of pan-European online travel agency Opodo to Axa Private Equity and Permira Funds. Amadeus submitted a notification form to the European Commission April 18 after two months of cooperation.
Ana de Pro, Amadeus CFO, said the deal could close in the second quarter unless the EC requires a Phase II analysis. In such a scenario, a decison on the transaction could be delayed until the fourth quarter.
Proceeds from the Euro 450 million sale would be used to pay down Amadeus' debt in conjunction with a refinancing.