April 01, 2013
Credit: American Airlines
US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker says he will utilize American Airlines’ legacy systems when integrating the two airlines once they merge.
“Our goal is to keep all of that in place [at American] and just overlay it on the smaller airline,” Parker said last week at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit in Washington.
“Once you get the integration done, you can always go back and optimize,” he added.
This method contrasts with Parker’s 2005 merger of America West Airlines and US Airways, when he retained the systems he used at America West and overlaid them on US Airways’.
Parker says his change of heart is informed, in part, by discussions he recently had with Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson, who considers his “adopt and go” strategy as a key to Delta’s 2008 integration of Northwest Airlines.
Parker, however, is adapting Anderson’s theory by opting for just American’s systems, rather than taking the best of both operations.
Anderson’s strategy took Delta and Northwest to what he called the merged carrier’s “starting state technology” once the integration of the airlines was complete.
“We put development of our systems on a bit of a hold,” Anderson told Aviation Week in late 2010, after the integration was substantially completed.
“We stuck with the system we know with the understanding that once the integration was done, Phase 2 of this process is a massive investment in our technology and infrastructure,” he added.