Delta Air Lines signed a five-year agreement with iXL Inc., an Atlanta-based
Internet services firm which will conceive, design and build Web-related
products and services to improve customer service, build internal capabilities
and increase revenues from electronic commerce.
In the first year of the contract, iXL will provide $10 million in Web based
products and services to Delta through Delta Technology Inc., Delta ‘s wholly-
As a first step, Delta said the iXL arrangement will give customers more
options on SkyLinks, Delta ‘s Internet site. Delta
said it also intends to apply Internet-based solutions to internal
communications, training and information systems, frequent flyer services, and
Other possible support activities from iXL include custom software
development, Web site management, site hosting and Web-based training.
“Delta intends to become a leader in electronic commerce, and our agreement
with iXL is another step toward that goal,” said Leo F. Mullin, Delta
president and chief executive officer. “We expect iXL ‘s Internet solutions to
boost Delta ‘s agility and speed in the intensely competitive global airline
market. SkyLinks is already among the most
popular travel- related sites on the Internet, and the addition of iXL to the
SkyLinks team will deliver even more customer-pleasing services and
Delta recently became one of the first airlines to impose a surcharge for
tickets not purchased online.
“What Delta has seen is the need to think five years ahead while acting now in order to become the leader
in the industry,” said Bert Ellis, iXL chief executive officer. “Our job is to speed up the application of Internet technology
to every aspect of Delta ‘s business.”
“Current forecasts predict that the Internet share of total travel purchases
will rise from 1 percent to 6-10 percent within the next 18 months. By 2002, an estimated
$26 billion will be spent on all forms of travel on the Internet. Delta
intends to be more user-friendly and more accessible. . .,” he said.