Austrian joins Star IT Platform

Austrian Airlines has announced the replacement of its
inventory and check-in systems and is joining the Common IT Platform, a Star
Alliance initiative. Star Alliance Common IT Platform (CITP), is a joint,
centralised platform for customer management, hosted by Amadeus for participating
Star Alliance member carriers. Alongside United, Lufthansa and other regional
members of the alliance, Austrian Airlines is now launching a comprehensive
migration project to oversee the staged transfer of all key airline IT systems,
including inventory, ticketing and check-in, to the new platform by mid-2009.

Rainer Pichler, Vice President, Austrian IT Services said the following about the
benefits of the CITP: “With Amadeus as provider, we can lower our unit costs in
order to significantly reduce both the ongoing costs of our IT development and
maintenance, and the costs of reservation systems. This will enable us to simplify
business processes in many of our divisions and adapt these to meet a contemporary
standard. Because Austrian is joining this initiative with some key Star Alliance
members such as Lufthansa and United, the companies will be able to maintain their
existing process optimisation, while the removal of interfaces will let Austrian
realise improvements in the service range for its customers more quickly and
efficiently than ever before.”


Hans Jorgensen, Vice-President, Strategic Airline and Partner Programmes, Amadeus,
noted: “Austrian Airlines exemplifies a growing number of carriers turning to more
flexible, new generation technology, to facilitate better alliance integration,
improve customer service and maximise operational efficiencies.  As the market
becomes more complex, it is important that all airlines can trust their IT systems
to deliver unfailingly on their changing needs, irrespective of whether they are
full-service, network or regional players.”



Airlines within the Star Alliance currently use their own reservation and handling
systems. To make it possible for passengers to travel with a range of different Star
Alliance airlines, however, the different systems need to be able to communicate
with one another. To achieve this, interfaces are put in place, which normally
involve costs for the airlines in question. The new CITP replaces these diverse
systems and interfaces, and allows the partners to access a joint customer
management platform in future.


“With Austrian’s decision to join the CITP initiative, more Star Alliance member
airlines will be able to serve our joint customers in a more uniform manner and
provide them enhanced service,” said Aman Khan, Star Alliance VP Information
Technology. “Furthermore, it will enable Austrian to reduce their current and future
development efforts. This is a major step forward for CITP, Star Alliance and for
Austrian Airlines.”


In a first stage, which will take place at the end of 2007, Austrian Airlines’
inventory system - the heart of any airline - will be migrated to the new Common IT
Platform. Prior to this, all 150,000 flights of the Austrian Airlines Group,
including the appropriate seating capacities, flight times, among others, will be
mapped into the CITP. The ticketing system and the check-in system will also be
migrated in a second stage, and will be operating on the new platform by 2009.