Star Alliance together with member carriers Lufthansa and United is creating a next generation technology platform for passenger service systems in the airline industry. For this, the parties have jointly selected Amadeus to build a Common IT Platform for the alliance. This deal will see Lufthansa and United replace their own legacy IT systems, with expansion to other members being planned.
Commenting on the decision, Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO said: “The Star Alliance Common IT Platform represents the realisation of a long time strategic goal, driven by the effort to better serve the customer, significantly lower IT costs and dramatically increase the speed of delivering new products to market.”
On behalf of Amadeus, José Antonio Tazón, President and CEO, said: “We are proud to have been chosen above some of the world’s most prestigious IT providers. This announcement underlines the unique value offered by our Altéa suite of IT solutions for airlines and alliances in today’s competitive environment.”
Lufthansa and United will replace their current legacy systems with one technology platform based on industry leading products and state of the art technology.
“The new Common IT platform is an important step forward for passengers, the Star Alliance and Lufthansa: we can now offer our customers an even better service from reservation to check-in”, commented Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Deutsche Lufthansa AG . The project is also testimony to the more intensive co-operation within Star Alliance, proving that we are not solely a sales and marketing alliance, but more importantly an alliance for the customer which makes seamless travel a reality”, he added.
While the carriers’ current IT systems all use different technologies, the new platform is based on a common technical infrastructure and software. The heart of the new system offers enhanced customer service functionalities, specifically for both sales and airport environments, and includes such transactions as schedule, availability, inventory, reservations, fare quote and ticketing as well as passenger check-in. The improvement in customer service will come through ease of use as well as through common and better quality of data which the airline service agents will be able to access when dealing with alliance customers.
“The Star Alliance Common IT platform will help provide what customers want: ease and convenience,” said Glenn Tilton, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United. “Star Alliance, like United, is focused on providing the best possible customer experience in the most efficient way possible. The ability to lower costs while improving our customers’ experiences further underscores the importance and value of our membership in Star Alliance.”
Costs savings in a variety of different ways will be brought about by the Common IT Platform, which has been created using state of the art technology. These encompass the initial development costs, running costs and costs for future enhancements. The automation of business processes will also lead to further cost-savings. Additionally, the platform will enable the carriers to improve speed to market for the introduction of new products or functionalities.
“The Common IT Platform is a good example of how we envisage future co-operation within the alliance. Up to now, we have very often worked on ensuring that existing products could be made ‘alliance compatible’. With common IT we have looked at implementing an alliance product for our member carriers straight from the outset,” said Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO.
Lufthansa will begin transitioning the first functions from its current system to the Common IT Platform in the second half of 2006 and expects to complete migration by the end of 2007. United is presently finalising its migration timeline.
Implementation requirements and plans are being developed to extend the reach of this industry leading concept to other Star Alliance members in the near future.