IBM’s history in the Airline world has been long and very influential. They were one of the first companies to transform the way the airline industry automated itself. From creating reservation systems to introducing standard communication protocols, IBM certainly should be credited with a range of firsts.
They developed with American Airlines, Sabre (reservation system) and from that created a range of reservation host systems and protocols including TPF (Transaction Process Facility) as well as ALC, MATIP and many more that assisted host to host communications for airlines and GDS’s (Global Distribution Systems).
Today IBM’s involvement in the Airline IT world tends to focus on business solutions in and around the Airport. IBM focuses on many sectors and industry segments and utilises it’s global strength on solutions such as baggage solutions, self service check-in and infrastructure that supports key processes.
Although a large organisation, they don’t have a deep penetration into the airline segment. They have a tendency to partner with other suppliers to the industry to support larger bids to promote their infrastructure and communication solutions.
IBM also has a consulting division that focuses on Travel and Transportation.