United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines today announced their partnership in a new independently owned travel web site. The new site, the first multi-airline travel portal, will provide customers with convenient online access to airline, hotel, car rental and other travel services in addition to Internet offers.
The new site will provide access to the carriers’ online products, and the airlines believe it will offer the most comprehensive selection of online airfares and other travel information available anywhere on the World Wide Web. The site will feature published fares from virtually all carriers worldwide and will welcome the posting of Internet fares from other carriers as well.
“For the first time, online travel consumers will be able to compare and purchase the Internet fares offered by several airlines and travel providers by visiting just one site,” said Bruce Parker, United’s chief information officer and senior vice president of the company’s Information Services Division
The four airlines will continue to independently operate and develop their respective Web sites, in addition to their participation in the joint venture.
Using innovative search capabilities, customers will be able to use the site to find comprehensive travel information on many of the world’s most popular travel products. Price-conscious customers for example, will be able to use a special price search feature to locate products suiting their budget needs; customers concerned with convenience will use a special flight schedule search engine.
“By combining the vast amount of Internet experience of all the launch partners, we will create a site that is superior to all travel sites,” said Vince Caminiti, senior vice president of Sales and Distribution at Delta Air Lines. “The new site will offer the most convenient features of any online travel vehicle.”
In addition to booking travel on airlines, the new site will also partner with hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines and other travel partners to help consumers build an entire travel experience at just one site
“Customers will be offered unique travel packages through the combined product offerings of our partners,” said Bill Brunger, vice president of Distribution Planning and Revenue Decision Support at Continental Airlines.
Customers using the new site will also have access to real-time departure and arrival information from each of the participating airlines.
“Our site will offer customers the best of everything,” said Al Lenza, vice president of Distribution Planning at Northwest Airlines. “The best collection of Internet fares in one location, the best search capabilities and the best travel-related content.”
The site, expected to launch in the first half of 2000, will be managed independently of the suppliers. A management team and identity for the site will be named at a later date. The transaction is subject to the completion of definitive agreements and the receipt of all necessary approvals.
United Airlines is the largest majority employee-owned company and the largest airline in the world, offering 2,416 flights a day to 135 destinations in 27 countries and two U.S. territories. United also is an industry innovator with breakthroughs such as E-Ticket Service, United Connection, Airport Gate Readers, United Shuttle, and the introduction of the technologically advanced Boeing 777. United Airlines’ Internet address is www.ual.com.
Delta, named Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and “Best-Managed Major Airline” for 1999 by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, is the world’s most flown carrier. More than 105 million passengers traveled on Delta in 1998. Delta, Delta Express, the Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers and Delta’s Worldwide Partners operate 5,266 flights each day to 357 cities in 59 countries. Delta Air Lines’ Web site is www.delta-air.com.
Northwest Airlines is the fourth largest airline in the world with 52,000 employees and 1,700 flights daily. Together with its global travel partners, Northwest serves more than 500 cities in nearly 100 countries on six continents. Northwest’s award-winning Web site is located at www.nwa.com.
Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering more than 2,100 departures daily to 129 domestic and 85 international destinations. Operating major hubs in Newark, Houston and Cleveland, Continental has extensive service throughout the Americas, and to Europe and Asia. Continental’s award-winning Web site is www.continental.com.