Today, EDS and Continental Airlines announced the signing of a global service agreement valued at $1.5 billion over eight years to enable the airline to take advantage of the rapidly changing marketplace. The industry is moving quickly toward global airline alliances to meet travelers` needs in an increasingly smaller and more connected world through the speed of transportation and technology. The contract calls for EDS to provide a myriad of existing and expanded services, such as inter-airline electronic ticketing and check-in.
Continental has a comprehensive alliance network including relationships with carriers in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. A key goal of the alliance strategy is to offer the traveler a seamless itinerary, which often requires Continental to achieve a high degree of systems compatibility with the partner airline. Previously EDS has worked with Continental on technology projects supporting alliances with Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Alitalia, Air France, Copa Airlines and many others.
“As a global leader in the IT industry, EDS has been integral to our success since the relationship was established in 1991. IT is the underpinning that will ensure the success of global airline alliances,” said Continental Sr. V.P. and CIO Janet Wejman. “International travelers will benefit from improved shared customer services and information, smoother international connections, and other advantages, such as global shared frequent flyer programs.” Continental Airlines and EDS support success has been demonstrated as the airline has been awarded first or second place in the Frequent Flyer magazine and J.D. Power and Associates Airline Customer Satisfaction Study for the past four years.
“The leadership of Dick Brown, EDS CEO, was instrumental in EDS packaging its services in a way that delivered the most value to Continental,” said Gordon Bethune, Continental Chairman and CEO.
EDS secured the expanded agreement with Continental over an elite group of competitors. The company will manage compute environments, reservation systems, legacy application development and maintenance, field services, and network and voice systems. New services to be provided in the expanded agreement include single-point-of-contact help desk and complete desktop support.
“The extension of our relationship with Continental, the 5th largest airline in the U.S. and a leader in the development of international airline alliances, firmly positions EDS as a major player in providing services to the global airline industry. The engagement also signifies EDS as an enabler of the industry`s innovations and latest business trends,” said Bobby Grisham, President of the EDS Travel and Transportation Group. EDS serves more than 20 international airline customers.
Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering more than 2,200 departures daily to 130 domestic and 85 international destinations. Operating major hubs in Newark, Houston and Cleveland, Continental (http://www.continental.com) has extensive service throughout the Americas, and to Europe and Asia. Continental recently initiated a strategic global alliance with Northwest Airlines. Continental is in the top half of FORTUNE magazine`s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” and has won first or second place Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power awards for four consecutive years. Continental has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin (Condé Nast Traveler, OAG Official Airline Guides, Entrepreneur and Smart Money magazines), OnePass frequent flyer program (InsideFlyer`s Freddie Awards) and overall operations and management (Air Transport World`s 1997 Airline of the Year).
EDS, a leader in the global information technology services industry for more than 35 years, delivers management consulting, electronic business solutions, and systems and technology expertise to improve the performance of more than 9,000 business and government clients in about 50 countries. EDS reported revenues of $16.9 billion in 1998. The company`s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Visit EDS via the Internet at http://www.eds.com.