AWS for Industries

Don’t miss Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance at AWS re:Invent

I fell in love with the airline industry with my first position with United Airlines, a year or so before the launch of Star Alliance. I love the complexity of the industry, and all the things that have to “go right” for a plane to push back from the gate, arrive safely at its destination, then turn around and do it all again, profitably…many thousands of times a day, every day, all over the world. The fact that the industry has been so affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is both a challenge and an opportunity. Of course, it’s difficult to witness so many great companies and well-known brands struggle financially, and all the colleagues whose jobs have been impacted by global travel restrictions. On the other hand, it’s an honor to be a part of AWS and help lead the effort to modernize these great companies as they work to lower costs, increase operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

This will be my first re:Invent. I’ve only attended the livestreams or viewed videos on-demand after the event. I was looking forward to going to Las Vegas and meeting customers, AWS colleagues, and industry friends, but it’s best to stay safe. Instead of the excitement of travel, eating great food, and hanging out on The Strip, one of the benefits of a virtual event is that an unlimited number of people can attend – and all for free.

This year, I have the honor of introducing Jeffrey Goh, the CEO of Star Alliance, the largest airline consortium in the world. Anyone who has flown is likely to have flown with one of their alliance members, and likely experienced the benefits of the alliance. Alliances are important to the industry because they increase scale for their members. They expand the network, increase cost efficiency, and provide a seamless way for business and leisure travelers to circumvent the globe if they like. Star Alliance was the first of the current airline groups, and has been a leader in the industry since its inception over two decades ago.

Jeffrey leads Star Alliance at an unprecedented time for the industry. I’m sure he will share fascinating insights into how he has guided the organization during this time, as well how, why – and why now – they are working with AWS to build resiliency for the long run. Be sure to register for re:Invent and search for up for Jeffrey’s session by its title “How Star Alliance is Building Resilience for the Long Run.” It debuts December 1, at 1:45pm PST and then will be available on-demand within the platform on Friday, December 4.

In addition to Jeffrey Goh, my colleagues have invited Richard Haigh, the Chief Technology Officer of Just Eat Takeaway, a global leader in the restaurant-to-consumer delivery marketplace (“How Just Eat Takeaway is Building Resilience for the Long Run”), and Scott Strickland, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the largest hotel company, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (“How Wyndham Hotels is Building Resilience for the Long Run”), to share how they are building resiliency for their respective organizations too. I look forward to attending all three sessions to learn about both the similarities and unique ideas of these great companies.

Take a moment now and register for re:Invent. Search for all three Travel and Hospitality customer sessions by title, and use the Travel and Hospitality re:Invent Guide to build your own event and block out your calendar! And be sure to follow #reinvent and #reinvent2020 on all social media.

Star Alliance is all about connections, in fact their slogan is, “The Way the Earth Connects,” so it’s great irony that we can’t all be together. In travel, when there is a weather delay, you just have to wait until the skies are clear again, and you can take off to your final destination. Let’s hope 2021 brings brighter days!

In the meantime, I hope to connect with all of you virtually this year at these exciting AWS Travel and Hospitality re:Invent sessions, and I wish everyone a wonderful, safe holiday season ahead!


Judy Pitchford

Judy Pitchford

Judith Pitchford has nearly 25 years of experience in the travel industry. With roles in business development, strategic marketing, and finance, she has expertise in various aspects of the industry including passenger services, cargo, maintenance (MRO), and data analytics. She is responsible for engagements globally in the travel industry for AWS, and supports customers in their cloud adoption journey. Prior to joining AWS, Judith held positions with United Airlines, OAG, Lufthansa/Jettainer and Emirates/Mercator. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Judith has a passion for the industry, but also for travel itself and has visited over 40 countries around the world.