The airlines in the network are locked into legacy operational systems vital to their businesses, but prohibitively costly to migrate. They need to define a generic migration approach which each airline can use as a template when subsequently migrating from a legacy environment to an open platform. It will also influence suppliers to provide more generic product and service responses.
The primary objective of the network is to produce a final agreed generic report, defining in detail the best practice approach for airline reservations inventory migration to an open platform environment. This report will be published, and widely disseminated.
The report is intended to provide a standard reference approach for both the airline industry and its suppliers. It should be of considerable benefit to the airline industry in general.
The technical aim is to produce an agreed generic requirements specification to guide both the members and the airline industry in general in the challenging task of migrating their legacy reservations inventory systems.
The network partners, network members, and sub-contractors will agree the scope of the network activity, carry out an agreed body of work to investigate and define the relevant migration issues. They will produce a final report setting out an agreed consensus on the migration of reservations inventory.
The NETWORK USERS consist of the partners and members, supported by supplier sub-contractors and observers. The project partners are Aer Lingus and Icelandair. Aer Lingus currently uses ASTRAL, which is an IPARS based reservation system. Icelandair uses CPARS. The network members include Air Malta, Ansett Australia, Braathens S.A.F.E., Egyptair, Eurowings, and Kuwait Airways. These airlines bring broad experience of different legacy environments and operational requirements to the network. NOVUS Systems Technology is to carry out sub-contract work, while Amadeus, Galileo, and IBM have all adopted a supportive role as network observers. These suppliers together constitute the predominant source of airline reservations inventory solutions.
The TARGET AUDIENCE is the global civil airline community, most of which share a requirement to migrate existing reservations inventory systems to open cost effective environments.
The MECHANISMS USED to implement the network include network workshops, agreed work packages, and draft and final reports at each stage, leading to an ultimate agreed Final Report.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
Results and Impact. The result will be a consensus Final Report setting forth a template of both the issues and guidelines for airlines planning to migrate from a variety of legacy environments to more open platforms. The network will allow the airlines to discuss together and validate the best practice approach to a variety of migration issues in consultation with the major suppliers. This will provide each airline with a better starting point from which to undertake its own implementation project. The Final Report is also intended to be a valuable reference work for other airlines, and in particular for small and medium sized airlines..
Plans for the Future. The partners intend to use the Final Report as a blueprint to then carry forward their own inventory migration projects.
Barriers and Limitations. The logistic barrier of geographic location remains a challenge to optimum effectiveness. The positive participation by both airlines and suppliers during the initial Network Workshop has dispelled any original concern about the potential quality of information exchange or supplier engagement with the network.
Resistance and Reluctance. Very large airlines, which tend to have internal migration solutions in train, were generally not interested in participation.