Air NZ looks closely at Amadeus

Air New Zealand is zeroing in on Amadeus as preferred supplier of a new reservation system.

Computerworld understands the airline is conducting due diligence on the Madrid-based company. That is the process of examining the financial underpinnings of a corporation as one of the first steps in a pending merger, equity investment or large scale IT purchase to understand the risks associated with the deal.

Amadeus hit turbulence at the end of last month when an upgrade of its check-in system at British Airways resulted in scores of the airline's UK flight departures being delayed.

BA and Amadeus ran the upgrade on March 19, but an error resulted in corrupted computer files. Consequently, the airline had difficulty retrieving passenger information at all UK airports. BA said it had staff working around the clock to restore the system and apologised to customers for the inconvenience caused. The problem also affected the airline's passenger departure control system.

Last year Amadeus signed a 10-year agreement with Qantas to operate and further develop reservations, inventory and departure control systems for the airline. As part of the deal Amadeus is setting up a support centre in Sydney.

Amadeus is vying for the Air New Zealand contract, believed to be worth $125 million, with a Lufthansa Systems/Unisys consortium. The successful supplier will replace existing Air New Zealand's Carina system and Ansett Australia's Merlin. Both are legacy systems.

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More about Air New ZealandAnsettBritish AirwaysLufthansaLufthansa SystemsQantasUnisys Australia

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