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Amadeus Selected to Replace Legacy British Airways Booking System (BABS)

British Airways has taken a major step towards simplifying its business and improving customer service with the introduction of the Amadeus sales system across the airline. 
This means all British Airways airport and city sales offices will now make their travel bookings on the Amadeus System. It will also facilitate seamless interaction between British Airways and its fellow `oneworld` airline alliance members, who are Amadeus system users.

Staff began using the new system for flight bookings on Sunday 24 February 2002, in place of the British Airways Booking System (BABS) which had been used in the airline for more than 30 years.

Paul Coby, Chief Information Officer for British Airways
, said, “BABS has served the airline well but Amadeus will give us cutting edge functionality and the opportunity to offer increased levels of customer service.”

The migration to the Amadeus
sales system involved shutting down the majority of the airline`s key systems for more than four hours before 48,190 terminals and 200 system links were reconnected. Impacted areas included the Departure Control System used at check-in and the reservation system BABS. Two and half million Passenger Name or booking Records were transferred from BABS to Amadeus, totalling 1,500 gigabytes of data over the migration period.

Paul Coby, pointed out : “Just two weeks ago we announced the top to bottom simplification of the airline when we unveiled the results of our Future Size and Shape review. The switch to Amadeus pre-dates that review but is a massive first step towards simplifying our business systems.  Not only do we save the airline millions of pounds, we will also be able to provide our customers with better service.”


Introduction of the Amadeus sales system is the third of five milestones in a strategic partnership between the airline and Amadeus announced in August 2000. The partnership has already seen Amadeus successfully take over the management of many British Airways?Esystems in London and transfer them to the Amadeus data centre in Germany. In addition, British Airways` fare quote system, which allows sales agents to price itineraries, has also been transferred from Galileo to Amadeus.

Hans Jorgensen
, Vice President, Airline Business Group at Amadeus, said: “British Airways represents the largest single migration of airline systems that Amadeus has ever effected. We do service airlines of similar size but they underwent a phased migration over three to six months. British Airways` decision to become an Amadeus System User still echoes around the world, creating interest in Amadeus` solutions from other airlines. We owe the success of this major event to the British Airways and Amadeus staff who performed as one team, making this important phase of the total project a model to be followed.”

Paul Coby commented further that, “The change to Amadeus has been a fantastic demonstration of the skills and commitment of everyone in British Airways. More than 11,000 members of staff have been trained and more than 500 experts from the IT, Sales, Customer Service and other departments managed the `migration` over Sunday night.”

British Airways and Qantas will continue to work with Amadeus, to develop a New Generation of world-class airline systems for departure control, inventory and related information systems - the final phase of the partnership. This is expected to be fully available from 2004.

“The various Amadeus systems we are already using and our ongoing partnership with Amadeus and Qantas, will lay the foundations for world-leading, customer facing British Airways` systems in the years to come and delivers very significant cost benefits,” Paul Coby concluded.

Related Stories on ITN:

(09/11/2001)BA Transfers Passenger Management Systems To Amadeus
(26/06/2000)Amadeus and British Airways enter major IT partnership