Six major world airlines to form B2B trade exchange

Six of the world’s major airlines announced today that they intend to form a new company that will create and operate an internet marketplace linking carriers worldwide with qualified sellers of airline-related goods and services. The new venture will handle approximately $32 billion of the six airlines’ supply chain business annually
Founding members of the new company—to be named and launched formally in the coming weeks—are British Airways, American Airlines, Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. A technology partner will be selected later by the new company, which will have its headquarters in the United States.

The airlines, realising the global importance of such a venture, want the new internet marketplace to be open to aviation customers and suppliers worldwide. Additionally, the partners see significant value for all participating airlines and suppliers through lower transaction, processing and inventory costs.

Specific items bought and sold through this ‘airline industry purchasing portal’ may include items such as fuel and fuel services, aircraft components, avionics and engine components and maintenance services, as well as other goods and services agreed to by the founding airlines.

Lord Marshall, British Airways’ Chairman, said: “We believe this is a significant step towards British Airways’ goal of becoming an industry leader in all aspects of e-commerce. With our partners, we will create the leading internet marketplace to serve the global airline industry, offering a wide variety of business services and cost-efficiencies to all participants.”