SkyTeam Alliance is preparing to implement new
technology that will enable alliance members to exchange PNR records and other data
without having to invest in a common platform.
SkyTeam chairman Leo van Wijk
told the Amadeus Horizons conference in Bangkok
the alliance is pursuing newly available technology which represents “a major
step forward in improving the interchangeability of
to ATI following the speech, van Wijk said SkyTeam’s committee of chief information officers recently
decided a new web-based messaging technology which the members are already
starting to use for internal communications can also be used between the
carriers to exchange data. He says the SkyTeam board
will vote at its next meeting in June on whether to acquire and implement the
technology, which is available from multiple suppliers.
all the IT managers having agreed to it recently I have no doubt it will be
approved,” van Wijk says.
adds the technology will only cost each member €1 million to €2 million. Trials
will likely begin before the end of this year, followed by a phased
three global alliances now struggle to share data because every carrier has its
own IT platform. This limits the alliances from providing several key services,
including the ability for a member to change a ticket that was issued by
another member. This limitation makes it very difficult for passengers with
multi-carrier itineraries when they find themselves wanting to make a change in
a country the ticketing carrier does not serve but other members of the alliance
have a presence.
an effort to provide more seamless services, Star selected Amadeus in 2005 to
develop a common IT platform for the alliance based on its Altea
platform. Amadeus and Star have just announced TAP as the sixth member to sign
up for the platform, joining United Airlines, Lufthansa, Austrian, Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines.
SkyTeam and Oneworld have
decided against following Star in pursuing common platforms.
airlines in an alliance going to a standard IT system won’t happen in my
opinion for all sorts of reasons,” van Wijk says.
says it is unrealistic to expect all carriers in an alliance to acquire one
system and it would take too long to wait for all carriers to migrate. With the
alternative technology now being pursued by SkyTeam,
“you can do it step by step”.
believe there is an architecture possible where there isn’t one system but you
can still communicate data,” van Wijk adds.
Pacific Airways chief information officer Edward Nicol says Oneworld’s
committee of CIOs also has come to the conclusion
that pursuing a common IT platform is unrealistic. He says Oneworld
believes it can provide a seamless service to customers, including the ability
for members to change tickets that are issued by another member, without moving
to a common platform.
tells ATI that Oneworld
is now working on implementing a simple solution that allows carriers to access
data entered by another carrier. He claims Oneworld
is ahead of SkyTeam and Star in its effort to improve
the accessibility of passenger data.
look at the other alliances and the rhetoric is well ahead of reality,” Nicol
says. “We’re focusing on what customers want. Customers don’t care what the
system is. They want a seamless experience.”
Lufthansa senior vice president and chief information officer Christoph Ganswindt says for Star
to really provide a seamless service a common IT platform is the answer.
Ganswindt says after a slow start following the
decision of Lufthansa and United to launch the product, “we see more and more
carriers selecting” altea and “there is a lot of
momentum now.” Ganswindt adds there are now three
other Star members “in the process of signing up” for the platform.