Will American Airlines' proposed Jetstream reservations system be a casualty of its bankruptcy filing and will the prime vendor, HP, a $30.8 million creditor in the proceeding, take the brunt of the hit?
In light of the bankruptcy proceeding, the airline obviously is evaluating its entire business and is in the process of making sweeping management changes. Among those changes, Monte Ford, American Airlines' chief information officer, exited the company Dec. 31.
As far back as 2009, Ford had been characterizing Jetstream as transformational, adding that it would be phased in on a modular basis.
American Airlines is denying several published reports that Jetstream, which was geared to modernize the airline's internal systems, trim costs and enable enhanced merchandising capabilities, is dead.
Jetstream "remains a high priority for American and will be a critical part of the airline's foundation as we emerge from restructuring a stronger and more customer-centric airline," American Airlines states. "We are currently evaluating the vendors best-suited to ensure the successful delivery of such a transformational initiative. However, our conversations with HP and other vendors remain confidential."
In March 2010, American Airlines contracted with HP Enterprise Services to build Jetstream, and HP was also developing a so-called next-generation Passenger Services System called the Agilaire Passenger Service Solution for additional carriers.
Other vendors have pieces of the projects, as well.
American Airlines contracted with ITA Software to use its Inventory Control Solution as part of Jetstream, and HP cut a deal with Pegasus Solutions to use its RezView NG distribution platform in conjunction with Agilaire.
ITA Software referred all questions about Jetstream to American Airlines, and HP declined comment on the latest developments.
Sabre currently is the reservations system provider for American Airlines and stands to lose a major chunk of business if Jetstream ever gets off the drawing boards.
A Sabre spokesperson says there have been no changes to its relationship with American Airlines and Sabre continues to support the reservations platform for the airlines.
Of course, American Airlines is also the subject of buyout and merger speculation, all of which could further influence Jetstream's fate.