In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The new OnTheFly mobile app offers the same comparison shopping features of ITA’s desktop app.
Airlines and travel services organizations now have the option of including in iPad and iPod touch apps the same comparison shopping features that ITA Software makes available through its Matrix airfare search desktop application, the company says.
“We are happy to offer iPhone users a mobile app that provides them with the power and flexibility of our OPX airfare shopping engine,” says ITA Software CEO Jeremy Wertheimer. QPX, which ITA designed in-house with an XML integration technology, provides the search function for ITA’s Matrix application for finding flight information, including fares, schedules, alternative airports, and even the total carbon emissions for each itinerary.
ITA is offering the OnTheFly mobile app for free to consumers who can download it from Apple’s App Store. It’s also making it available under licensing terms to travel companies, who can integrate it with their booking and mobile technology platforms.
ITA says it plans to introduced mobile apps for BlackBerry and Android phones later this year.
Bob Cowen, a Farmington Hills, MI-based independent travel expert and former editor of an online travel tips web site, has tested the OnTheFly iPhone app and says its functionality exceeds that of other online travel search tools.
Going forward, Cowen says he sees a need for an application like OnTheFly that will provide travel information that would help a consumer plan a trip from her home to her final destination, including the options for driving or taking public transportation to and from any of several available airports. The application would then automatically tally up the time and cost of each optional travel itinerary.
Cowen adds that Google Inc., which has an agreement to acquire ITA, already has technology in its Google Maps application to offer such a complete itinerary information service.