Delta to build on IBM's Red Hat OpenShift architecture

The two companies have expanded a long-term services and technology partnership.

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IBM and Delta have expanded a multi-year services agreement to migrate the airline's applications to the cloud.

Under the agreement, Delta will move to a hybrid cloud architecture built on Red Hat OpenShift. Delta has been retooling during the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of rebounding in 2021 and 2022 as travel picks up.

Also: United Airlines plots 2022 rebound with big dose of IT

On Delta's fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Edward Bastian said the airline was setting itself up for future demand via a new cost structure, technology and managing during a downturn. Bastian said:

Following almost a year at subdued travel, customers are beginning to exhibit behavior that is indicative of pent-up demand. Shopping visits across Delta's digital channels are significantly outpacing the passenger volumes we're carrying. In our most recent corporate survey, 40% of respondents expect full recovery by 2022.

Like other businesses, Delta has had to accelerate its digital transformation plans.  Delta will utilize IBM's services, hybrid cloud architecture and roadmaps to migrate its applications.

In addition, Delta will also leverage IBM software such as CloudPaks and co-create applications. The two companies are also partnered on exploring how quantum computing can be used.