oneworld IT hub in the clouds smooths airberlin's addition21 March 2012
oneworld®, the premier global airline alliance, has implemented a new information technology (IT) hub, making it easier, more efficient and faster to link new airlines into the alliance - with airberlin the first of its recruits to benefit.
The oneworld IT hub takes advantage of latest "cloud" and web-based technology, supported by Dell Boomi, one of the leading providers of application and data integration platforms built "in the cloud".
Initially, it has been used to support all frequent flyer programme IT systems. Linking these platforms together has historically been the most time consuming and expensive part of integrating a new recruit into the alliance, with the massive amount of coding and testing necessary to ensure every member airline can securely share data with all partner carriers through an intricate network of one-on-one connections.
The oneworld IT hub has substantially reduced the complexity, cost and time involved. All existing member airlines of the alliance have now plugged in to the hub in the "cloud", meaning that recruits simply have to link too to the hub rather than connecting separately to each individual alliance partner.The alliance expects other information technology applications and activities to switch to the oneworld IT hub in the future.
oneworld IT Director Jouni Naskali said: "The development of this new hub is one of the most significant alliance IT developments since oneworld was established more than a decade ago.
"We have looked several times before at the potential of developing an IT hub for linking our member airlines' IT systems, but the cost of doing so using previous technologies meant it could not be justified, particularly with oneworld's more limited membership numbers and with seven of our 11 existing carriers using the same IT platform, Amadeus.
"This new facility dramatically speeds and simplifies the addition of new airlines to the alliance, making the entire process substantially more efficient and, thanks to the latest technology, more cost effective both for the new joiners and for our established carriers."
airberlin's Senior Vice-President Alliances and Cooperation Stephen Nagel added: "The oneworld IT hub has enabled airberlin to join oneworld's many months sooner than if we had had to link up our systems with our alliance partners using the old one-on-one procedures, significantly simplifying our integration. This has meant we can offer the benefits of oneworld to our customers and start enjoying the additional revenues it will deliver to our company earlier than would previously been the case and for a significantly smaller capital investment."
Since its launch in 1978, airberlin has grown into Germany's second largest airline - and the sixth biggest in Europe in terms of passengers boarded - after taking over dba and LTU and gaining stakes in Austria's NIKI and Switzerland's Belair.
It serves 162 destinations in 40 countries, carrying more than 35 million passengers in 2011. Its fleet comprises 170 aircraft with an average age of five years, making it one of the most modern and fuel efficient fleets in Europe, contributing towards a long-term reduction in emissions. The group employs 9,200 staff.
It has developed from its origins in the shorthaul leisure market to cater also for business travellers with its Euro Shuttle service providing high frequency connections between many of the continent's key destinations and now also flies longhaul. It offers the full-range of services associated with a full-service network carrier, including its frequent flyer programme topbonus, and, for Business Class passengers and top tier cardholders, lounges, priority check-in and, for all passengers, free drinks and meals or snacks on every departure.
On its shorthaul services, it offers a single-class cabin. On its longhaul routes, it offers two-classes, with a premium business cabin and individual in-flight entertainment screens for each passenger.
airberlin's hubs are Berlin Tegel (moving to Brandenburg in June), Dusseldorf, Palma de Majorca and Vienna. Among its international destinations, it serves oneworld hubs Helsinki, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Moscow Domodedovo and New York JFK.
oneworld aims to be the airline alliance of choice for the world's frequent international travellers. It brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including Austria's NIKI, American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Malaysia Airlines is on track to join later in 2012, with India's Kingfisher Airlines also a member elect. Malév Hungarian Airlines and Mexicana are inactive members of the alliance.
Between them, oneworld's active member airlines:
- Serve some 800 airports in 150 countries, with more than 8,750 daily departures.
- Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
- Carry almost a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of nearly 2,500 aircraft.
- Generate some US$ 100 billion annual revenues in total.
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld is current holder of more international awards for airline alliances than any of its competitors - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards, for the ninth consecutive year, and the Best Airline Alliance 2011 in Australian Business Traveller's debut awards.