According to Gulf Air, Bahrain`s leading air carrier, the company has reduced costs by more than $1 million over a one-year period and improved its on-time performance by 7 percent by using Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) decision support software.
Gulf Air accomplished the improvements by implementing and employing Sabre(R) AirOps(TM) operations control system, an advanced decision-support system that monitors daily flight movements and assists Gulf Air operations controllers in making informed, real-time operations decisions.
For instance, the use of AirOps has helped to minimize the impact of delayed flights. Using the AirOps system, the Gulf Air controllers are notified when a flight is running behind through the real time status on incoming flights. They are then provided the best solutions to minimize the impact of the delay, such as assigning a different aircraft for the next scheduled flight segment of the incoming aircraft. The impact then results only in a gate change.
According to Tom Powell, Gulf Air`s Manager of Operations Control, the airline did an internal analysis after AirOps was implemented in January 2001. Comparisons at the end of one year revealed that the airline had saved over $1 million U.S. (Bahrain Dinar BHD 380,859), primarily by improving on-time performance.
“Successful airlines today must operate competitive schedules, meet passenger demand, and, at the same time, maximize aircraft and resource utilization,” said Steve Clampett, president of Airline Products and Services for Sabre. “It`s a balancing act that is further complicated by economic downturn and uncertainties in the travel industry. We developed the AirOps product to alleviate much of the guesswork airlines must contend with to operate efficiently day in and day out.”
Industry statistics show that airline delays have increased worldwide over the past few years. According to the Air Transport Association of America (ATAA), in 2000 alone more than 163 million passengers were affected negatively by airline delays. During that time the estimated dollar value of lost passenger time to the airlines amounted to more than $2.3 billion.
“Many factors can cause flight schedule interruptions,” said Powell. “Whether we`re dealing with weather, mechanical issues or crew availability, we are judged by our on-time performance. At Gulf Air we pride ourselves on attracting and keeping satisfied customers. That means we will use every means available to eliminate schedule delays and keep our flights running regularly. Sabre`s AirOps tool offers us a powerful and flexible way to control our operations in the safest, least costly and most efficient way. The results speak for themselves.”
The AirOps technology offers airlines an operations control system that features automated flight displays and movement control options to improve aircraft utilization and reduce operational disruption. The system uses Gantt charts to graphically show detailed flight log information from a central database. This real-time display gives airlines the complete, reliable information regarding current operations and maintenance events needed to evaluate and solve problems quickly.
“Industry acceptance of our operations control systems is more than gratifying,” continued Clampett. “It gives us the foundation to continue making significant investments to provide the technology and innovation airlines need to be successful in today`s highly competitive marketplace.”
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