A new, full-featured airline system supporting key sales activities such as bookings, ticketing and passenger check-in will be supplied to Czech Airlines by UK-based Travelport GDS.The companies Worldspan system was selected as the winner of the tender for the new system, which was held by the airline in September.
Both parties are intensively working on the final agreement to be concluded this December. The new airline system, which is based on the Worldspan Meridian platform, should replace 12 different subsystems that are currently being used by the airline. The implementation process will take about one year to complete and the routine operation of the new system should start sometime in the latter part of 2008.
The cost for the implementation of the new system and five-years of support is substantially less than the maintenance and operating costs for the system currently being used. “With the introduction of this new modern system, Czech Airlines will be able to save nearly one billion crowns over a five-year period. In addition, the airline can expect that sales processed through the new system - which also supports electronic sales channels - will generate additional revenues,” said Czech Airlines’ Vice President for Information Technologies, Jiř’ Devát. In the past, Czech Airlines didn’t invest heavily in the development of new phone and internet sales methods. “We no longer want to have to play catch-up with the latest trends - that’s why we’ve chosen the Worldspan Meridian solution, which comes from the US, where these sales methods are the most developed,” added Jiř’ Devát.
“The new system will improve the productivity of Czech Airlines’ employees who work with the booking system, sell tickets and check-in passengers. And, the results will be felt the most by our passengers. The new system will speed up all of our processes from booking through ticketing through passenger check-in,” said Petr Pi?tělák, the company’s Vice President for Marketing and Product Development.
The system currently in use by Czech Airlines uses 12 separate subsystems. These are all based on a platform, which dates back to the 1970’s and which has had to go through numerous extensions and upgrades. The existing system works with traditional ways of selling tickets through global distribution systems and it doesn’t take advantage of modern communication tools. It lags behind the latest industry trends, which allow for a much easier elimination of costly parts of the distribution process.
The tender for the supplier of the new system, which will be used for booking, ticketing and passenger check-in, was launched in May. Czech Airlines approached five major international suppliers of such airline systems. All five of the companies approached submitted bids. Three of these bidders made it into the second round of the tender. Worldspan by Travelport offered the system, which appeared to best suit Czech Airlines in terms of functionality and price, as well as giving the airline the possibility of taking advantage of new business opportunities and technologies.