Cloud Computing Empowers Airlines to Reach New Heights

By: Larry Loeb| - Leave a comment


In 1960, IBM launched Sabre as the first computer-based reservation system for American Airlines. By providing new ways for the airline to manage its day-to-day operations, the system revolutionized the travel industry and later provided “the basis for an entire universe of electronic commerce that exploded in the mid-1990s,” IBM notes.

As competition grows fiercer between airlines, cloud computing offers a similar transformative power for today’s travel sector. Industry leaders today are focused primarily on improving and expanding services while at the same time managing their shrinking IT budgets.

Finnair Takes on Cloud Computing

Finnair, which carries 10 million customers annually across Europe and Asia, is already putting the cloud to use in its technical operations division by using iOS apps hosted in the IBM cloud, according to an IBM press release. Through this collaboration, Finnair’s mechanics will gain digital checklists and analytics-driven recommendations to complete tasks with greater efficiency.

Through an enterprise app called Assign Tech, Finnair will provide supervisors with an overview of flight schedules, maintenance processes, mechanic availability and personnel recommendations based on skill levels and availability.

“We want to link our employees with the insights they need to make better decisions,” said Katri Harra-Salonen, chief digital officer for Finnair, in the IBM press release. “This collaboration enables a user-focused, high-quality, yet cost-effective way of developing digital solutions, helping us to improve the way we operate as an airline.”

Finnair will be the first airline to roll out IBM’s new app design and development model, Mobile at Scale for iOS, which promises to reduce development costs and time by as much as 25 percent, according to the release.

American Airlines Rises Again

According to Fortune, American Airlines has also decided to move select enterprise applications to IBM Cloud. Through this transition, the company will gain access to IBM’s advanced analytics technology and modernize its legacy programs through Bluemix. By allowing the airline to add and delete resources as needed, this cloud computing model will provide greater flexibility and scale for American Airlines’ business software.

Supply Chain 24/7 notes that the entire travel and transportation industry seems to be shifting from product-related services to information-related services. This transition may be the result of serving today’s always-connected consumers, who expect increased connectivity and higher qualities of communication with 100 percent service levels. As passengers cause changes in both demand for and provision of services, cloud services can empower organizations to meet fluctuations head-on.

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