Andrew Doyle/MUNICH

KLM, SAS, Swissair and Air France have agreed to dissolve their flight management system (FMS) data joint venture KSSA. The move has cleared the way for Lufthansa subsidiary and flight planning service provider Lido to launch its own FMS data service in partnership with SAS and Air France.

"Together with its partners Lido has got full ownership and unrestricted rights to use the [FMS] database of the former KSSA," says the German company. Lufthansa has become the first airline to use Lido FMS data in its aircraft.

Lido employs many of the Zurich-based staff that previously worked for Swissair Flight Support (SFS) to maintain the KSSA database. SFS will continue to supply FMS data to its 100-plus customers, but faces aggressive competition from Lido. "To date nobody apart from Lufthansa has given notice to stop using our database," says SFS head of sales and marketing Phillip Ashley-Smith.

The agreement to dissolve KSSA ends a bitter dispute between SFS and Lido over ownership rights to the KSSA database. Lido performed due diligence on SFS two years ago, when the business was put up for sale by Swissair. After the deal fell through in early 1999, Lido announced plans to develop its own database.

The dispute flared when most of the SFS database staff subsequently defected to Lido, forcing the Swiss company to subcontract the running of the KSSA database to Lido under an agreement which expired in early March. An argument then erupted over whether Lido had the right to offer data sourced from the KSSA database to its own customers.

The decision by SAS and Air France to partner Lido means however that the two former KSSA members have transferred their database ownership rights to Lido. Other suppliers of FMS data include Honeywell, which markets Jeppesen data, and Racal.

Source: Flight International