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G2 SwitchWorks & ITA Software Going Public

CASMA (Computerized Airline Sales &
Marketing Association) will explore the challenges of the new emerging
business model in the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) space with two
companies that claim they have a better plan that costs less. Join Jeremy
Wertheimer, chief operating office, ITA Software; Michael Harbin, vice
president, G2 SwitchWorks; Steve Jarvis, staff vice president, Alaska
Airlines; and, Derek Lewitton, director, Distribution Strategy, United
Airlines at 1:00 p.m. Monday, March 21 for the opening session of the
Spring 2005 Conference at the Marriott Financial District, New York.

This interactive Town-Hall may need FDNY support as the sparks are
guaranteed to fly between the “New GDS” and the traditional GDS’s, who
dominate today’s airline distribution market. The Town Hall format will
enable conference attendees to ask questions of the panelists to help them
separate fact from fiction and business marketing from business modeling.

ITA Software and G2 SwitchWorks claim to be building systems to enable
airlines to distribute their products through travel agencies at a
fraction of the cost of a legacy GDS. Airlines distribute airline seats
through fare schedules and ticket prices listed in various GDS’s most of
which were created by the airlines in the mid-1970’s. Travel agencies
continue to produce more than half of airline bookings through corporate
business travel in the US and a greater percentage worldwide.

Key questions include: If everyone is getting a cut where are the savings
for the airlines? What warranties do the new entrants bring in
guaranteeing booking and ticketing accuracy for the airlines? What
benefits do corporations have to require adoption of alternative
distribution channels? As travel agents will not support multiple channels
within their office, when do the alternative distribution channels simply
become another GDS? What will be included in the first release? Will it

This industry critical discussion will take place in front of more than 30
airlines including American Airlines , British Airways , Northwest
Airlines , America West United Airlines (BULLETIN BOARD: UALAQ) , Air
Canada, Korean Air, and Alitalia.