Airline relocates bulk of Lido Aeronet operations to Europe in effort to reduce spending

Lufthansa Systems is closing most of the Singapore operations of its Lido Aeronet aeronautical software and data subsidiary and moving product development and support activities to Frankfurt and Zurich in an effort to cut costs.

The German company says the decision primarily affects its moving map and personal digital assistant based projects. Research and development work will be carried out at Lido's Zurich unit, formerly known as Swissair Flight Support, which is responsible for airline flight support products.

"We believe that it makes sense to concentrate these activities in a single location, which is why we have decided on this relocation of IT development," says Lufthansa Systems.

Lido Aeronet will maintain an Asia Pacific sales office in Singapore and retain a limited number of staff to provide customer support and prepare data for route manuals.

Lufthansa Systems last year held talks with potential buyers for Lido Aeronet, including Honeywell and Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, and considered a management buy-out proposal backed by venture capital.

Wholly owned by the German flag carrier, Lufthansa Systems has subsequently decided to retain full control of Lido Aeronet, which specialises in emerging technology. Aeronet also aims to distribute aeronautical data on behalf of civil aviation authorities in the form of electronic aeronautical information publications.

Lufthansa Systems' Zurich division supplies aeronautical charts and data for flight management systems and airline route manuals. Lido's core flight planning operations are in Frankfurt.

Qantas signed as the launch customer for Lido's cockpit moving map solution, running on a Spirent Systems display mounted in the cockpit of the airline's Airbus A330s. The "electronic flight bag" provides pilots with electronic access to digitally stored maps, approach plates, performance charts and flight manuals.

AeroNet was established in June 2000 as a wholly owned Lido subsidiary with responsibility for developing mobile and internet-based flight-support solutions.

Source: Flight International