Google has announced that its 2010 acquisition ITA Software will be supplying the back-end booking system for US airline Cape Air and its subsidiary Nantucket Airlines. The system is expected to increase efficiency and generally make the experience easier for both consumer and airport employee.
Google purchased flight information software company ITA Software back in 2010 for the miserly sum of $700m, putting the search giant into direct competition with the likes of Kayak and Cheapflights.co.uk. Google said that the purchase would help consumers to find flight information online and give the public more choices.
Cape Air first of many?
Now ITA is branching out into the airline reservation market. While Cape Air is the first company to secure a partnership, Google has said that it is in talks with several airlines about the reservation system. We can assume that the search company has big ambitions in this area, too, after it revealed that ITA’s Cape Air System is “built to scale to support airlines of all sizes”.
Consumers will notice very little difference between the new and old systems apart from a new website design. Dan Wolf, chief executive of Cape Air, confirmed that the ITA system will be an improvement over its predecessor: “It will be a faster, more error-free experience,” he commented. Wolf hopes that the airline will eventually be able to use a passenger’s smartphone to track whether they are running on time and provide the ability to rebook flights via the ITA system. Future functionality could also see luggage delivered directly to a traveller’s destination.
Internet reports suggest that this is another step towards Google’s end-game of creating a one-stop shop for airline bookings. Prior to this development, the search giant has been asking new Gmail users to input card details when registering. While this is entirely optional, it implies that Google is looking to create an ecosystem using its current range of online products, which includes the likes of Google Wallet and US-specific flight details. Watch this space!
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