Airbus has enlisted Accenture, Capgemini, FPT Software, IBM and Sopra Steria to develop software applications for digital services platform Skywise.

The five companies are "early adopters" under a partner programme intended to "further accelerate innovation by connecting Skywise users with a global network of leading developers", says Airbus – indicating possible recruitment of additional specialists.

Skywise software applications are typically aimed at improving an airline's flight and maintenance operations through big-data analysis.

Participants in the programme will receive "dedicated training and certification so they develop more robust, richer applications within Skywise on behalf of an airline", says the European airframer.

It asserts the programme is "paving the way for an open marketplace", in which operators will be able to select different partners for software development via Airbus's cloud-based data platform.

More than 80 international airlines have aircraft connected to Skywise. These jets are a mix of Airbus and other manufacturers' types.