Galileo boosts capacity to handle expected heavy demand

Computer airline reservations giant Galileo International Inc. said it has added 25% of capacity to its global distribution system (GDS) in anticipation of a rush of requests to rebook or cancel flights after last week's terrorist attacks.

Galileo spokeswoman Gretchen Cavin said the company expanded its GDS mainframe back-end system to handle the expected increase in volume. While no hardware was added to the system, Cavin said, "we added more horsepower" so the system can handle more requests for ticket information from travel agents, airlines and Internet users. Rosemont, Ill.-based Galileo processes more than 350 million transactions annually through its reservation system.

Galileo rival Sabre Holdings Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas, is also adding capacity to its old mainframe GDS through its outsourcer, Electronic Data Systems Corp. in Plano, Texas, according to Sabre spokeswoman Dawn Dorman.

No details were available today on how Galileo and Sabre are boosting capacity, both spokeswomen said.

A few weeks before, Sabre said it would phase out its mainframes and move its airline registration database onto NonStop Himalaya servers from Compaq Computer Corp. (see story).

The Federal Aviation Administration said that at 11:45 a.m. EDT, "5,342 aircraft were aloft in U.S. skies," which is about the average number of aircraft in flight at any time during the day. General aviation is still banned within 25 miles of New York and Washington, according to a report on CNN.com.

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