Southwest Airlines partners Amazon’s AWS

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Following the now-infamous holiday week incident in which the airline canceled thousands of flights, Southwest Airlines is taking new steps to minimize future technological turbulence by partnering with Amazon. This large-scale modernization with AWS is part of the airline’s long-term strategy to improve the passenger experience, optimize operations, and invest in information technology (IT) infrastructure more efficiently.

“As our preferred cloud provider, AWS will offer solutions that are critical in our drive to modernize our operation, equip our employees with the tools they need to serve our customers, and improve our reliability,” said Lauren Woods, senior vice president and chief information officer of Southwest Airlines Co. “With the help of AWS’s leading cloud technology and expertise, we will launch improved digital solutions, responsive customer support, and streamlined operations as we deliver on our digital transformation initiatives.”

Southwest already runs some software on AWS, including gate management and departure control programs, said Lauren Woods, the low-cost airline’s chief information officer. “We definitely have plans to do other critical-for-operations and future required-to-fly applications, bringing those into AWS,” Woods said.

The technological upgrades come months after Southwest canceled over 15,000 flights during the holiday season, stranding millions of passengers and resulting in government hearings. Southwest also stated in the announcement that the partnership’s goal is to “improve reliability” by modernizing the airline’s operations. Everything from customer interactions to crew scheduling is expected to benefit from the collaboration. The tools being deployed will also enable the airline’s IT and Data Science teams to make quick changes or experiment with new technologies.

The sources for this piece include an article in DataCenterKnowledge.


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