Sabre Airline Solutions
recently announced the implementation of new browser-based modules for its operations control and crew tracking systems previously installed at AirTran Airways and Jet Blue Airways. Airlines using the Sabre FliteTrac and Sabre CrewTrac systems can now provide remote access to these applications using Sabre FliteTrac Web and Sabre CrewTrac Web.
With implementation of the new open system technology, JetBlue and AirTran personnel from remote locations, such as airport ramp and gate positions, can now access and update critical operational information in an easier, more cost-effective way. Frontier Airlines also will soon be implementing the FliteTrac Web module to provide remote access to FliteTrac for its station personnel.
AirTran, a long-time user of the Sabre Flight Control suite, has made a significant leap into the advanced technology environment required to be competitive in today’s airline market.
Jim Tabor, General Manager, Operations Performance for AirTran said, “FliteTrac Web exhibits the capabilities needed to manage our complex operations. FliteTrac Web replaced every functional area of the old system provided by CMS (a legacy LAN-based communications system) and brought new functions into the field station’s toolkit. Our field stations can now link, via the web, to get estimated arrival and departure times, station profile information, and integrated log entries.
“FliteTrac Web meets our needs very well,” Tabor continued. “The instantaneous ‘link and sync’ keeps our field stations and customers better informed. We have seen major improvement during irregular operations in our ability to keep everyone on plan.”
“With as many as 400 users on the system at any one time, AirTran needs quick access to manage its airport responsibilities associated with flight arrivals and departures,” said David Bornemann, vice president of Flight Operations at Sabre Airline Solutions. “FliteTrac Web allows AirTran personnel access to these responsibilities from remote locations, keeping everyone on the same page.”
The controlled actions include inputting gate information, flight times, fuel data, shift log information, cargo load information, as well as flight delays. A recent enhancement also allows retrieval of updated weather information for pilots.
“In its selection, AirTran is being progressive by opting for an application that will scale Bornemann added.
The recent implementation is an indicator that the industry is moving away from proprietary communications systems and networks and towards more open systems. Moving from the “green screen” technology of its former product, AirTran has been able to shut down a legacy system that used expensive wide area network (WAN) technology.
JetBlue is another carrier making the move to open systems with the selection of FliteTrac Web and its companion Sabre CrewTrac Web. In addition to FliteTrac Web functionalities, Sabre CrewTrac Web enables JetBlue pilots and flight attendants to access their schedules, check in for flights, and review schedule changes and available assignments over the web.
“The two products will benefit JetBlue by streamlining internal communications and reducing reliance on telephone and teletype communications,” said Tom Rinow, JetBlue director of System Operations. “As JetBlue continues to grow and expand our route structure, station specific communication will become even more important. FliteTrac Web will provide the kind of detailed information that targets and is tailored to each specific city.”
The benefits of the elected enhancements to the Sabre Flight Control suite go beyond streamlining communications, according to Rinow. “With these two applications, JetBlue will have access to up-to-date information in both areas without calling already over-worked crew schedulers in the SOC. This will enable crew schedulers to ensure that all JetBlue flights are fully staffed with qualified crew members, and that all assignments conform to applicable FAA flight and duty time limitations.” Bornemann noted that JetBlue has been using Sabre products for its SOC automation since its initial start of service in early 2000.
In a cost-conscious environment such as the low-cost carrier market, FliteTrac Web and CrewTrac Web provide freedom from legacy systems with best-of-breed technology and adaptability and scalability for the future at a price point compatible with carrier budgets.