Home' Asian Aviation : AAV July August 2010 Contents AsianAviation | JULY--AUGUST 2010 43
e arrival of global airline alliances, such as the
Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam, on the scene
has added further challenges, introducing the need
for IT compatibility between the members of each
group, while also making it harder for non-members
Chapman says that airlines over the past decade
have responded with an increasing tendency to
outsource their IT needs to companies such as
When Air France, Lu hansa and Iberia founded
Amadeus in 1987, the carriers wanted the Madrid-
based company to create a cutting-edge reser vation
The platform Amadeus eventually delivered
incorporated a radical new idea for the times: it could
be shared by airlines and travel agencies, pioneering
the concept of seamless reser vation ser vices across all
channels. Today, about 135 airlines use the reser vation
platform on its own.
e company has since broadened its product
range signi cantly. In 2000, British Air ways and
Qantas asked Amadeus to develop a new-generation
customer-management system (CMS), covering
reser vations, inventory and departure control. e
result, a er ve years' work and 300 million euros
(US$406 million) investment, was the Altea CMS
e company also o ers elements of the Altea
system as stand-alone solutions, covering such
functions as e-ticketing, fare quote systems and
To date, Chapman says Amadeus has signed
contracts with about 70 airlines for the full Altea
suite. In the Asia-Paci c region, Amadeus' main
customer for a long time has been Qantas, while deals
have also been signed with V Australia, Singapore
Airlines (SIA) and Cathay Paci c Air ways. According
to Chapman, Cathay will implement the system in
2011, followed in 2012 by SIA.
e company is also involved in exclusive contracts
to evaluate the Altea system -- so-called 'scoping'
contracts -- with ai Airways, South Korea's Asiana
Airlines and "several other large carriers" in the
Asia-Paci c region. Chapman explains that scoping
contracts give potential customers the chance to
evaluate the system in detail, matching the airline's
requirements with the system's functionality.
"At the end of the scoping , we give a detailed report
on implementation, customisation requirements and
so on," Chapman says.
He adds that part of the scoping process involves a
comparison of the operating costs of the Altea system
with the cost of running an in-house system. One
crucial factor here is that the xed cost of an in-house
solution is replaced with a variable cost structure,
where the airline pays less if there is a slump in travel
demand -- such as that triggered by last year's global
In September last year, the IT company also signed
a ground-breaking partnership deal with Malaysia-
based low-cost carrier AirAsia. e deal allowed, for
the rst time, Amadeus-subscribing travel agencies
around the world (numbering more than 101,000) to
book AirAsia ights -- as well as those on the carrier's
Indonesia AirAsia, ai AirAsia and AirAsia X units
-- in the same way they would book a full-ser vice
The deal uses a unique Amadeus technolog y
designed especially for low-cost, 'ticketless' airlines,
called Amadeus Ticketless Access. " is technolog y
enables travel agents to nd ight options to suit a
broader range of needs, especially for travellers who
are particularly budget conscious," Amadeus says.
Chapman says that the AirAsia deal illustrates the
"evolution" now being seen in the low-cost sector,
where LCCs are adopting some elements of the
full-ser vice business model. " e concept of hybrid
carriers is a new trend," the executive says.
" e low-cost model works very well in the market
you ser ve directly, but with more international
customers, you need alternative distribution
strategies," he says.
Norbert Mueller, senior vice-president of Asia-
Paci c sales for Lu hansa Systems, agrees that the
airline IT landscape has changed drastically in recent
years. e Lu hansa Group subsidiary, based near
Frankfurt, Germany, o ers an entire range of IT
ser vices, including consulting , development and
implementation of industry solutions and operation.
"Airlines used to have large IT departments which
developed and maintained their own solutions. is
required an enormous amount of resources," Mueller
says. "With competition intensifying in the industry,
carriers are now focusing on their key business and
increasingly rely on external providers. ese develop,
maintain and further enhance IT solutions and also
host them in centralised data centres."
Airlines can access the solutions remotely while
keeping their IT organization small. "Lufthansa
Systems is ideally positioned here as we provide a
unique combination of airline know-how and IT
expertise," Mueller says.
According to the Lu hansa Systems executive,
the company sees an increasing trend towards IT
platforms beyond individual solutions. Combining
products for related tasks offers customers
substantial nancial and functional advantages,
As an example, Lufthansa Systems' Integrated
Operations Control Centre (IOCC) Platform
covers all key processes related to operations control:
schedule management, operations control, crew
management, ight planning and weight and balance.
"Because of the synergies it generates, the IOCC
Platform offers airlines much greater economic
bene ts than standalone systems, and it increases the
speed and quality of decision making," Mueller says.
"Our Integrated Commercial Platform works in a
similar way for all commercial processes. e goal is
always to look for an optimum overall result for the
Lu hansa Systems also supports developments
in other areas by o ering solutions such as mobile
check-in, while maintaining close contact with its
customers, to allow it to anticipate trends and tailor
products to airlines' evolving needs.
With the global recession and its devastating
impact on travel demand, airlines have focused their
investment on solutions that directly reduce their
costs and increase revenues.
"Our products meet this requirement, and they
provide a fast return on investment," Mueller says.
"Besides, we o ered exibility in terms of the project
schedule and the pricing of our solutions, which are
important factors for the carriers. Airline executives
quickly understood that rather than freezing all
Lufthansa Systems' Norbert Mueller says the
company's IT products help airlines cut costs and
Links Archive AAV June 2010 AAV Sept 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page