International Air Transport Association
Partner Brief
Strategic Partnerships Newsletter

41st Issue • Quarter 4, 2011

SIS implementation: Taking Paper Out of the Process

The first phase of the Simplified Interline Settlement (SIS) project was successfully implemented the weekend of 8 October 2011, with 13 airlines and one system supplier processing data in P1 October. Terry Delaney, IATA Manager, Revenue Accounting, takes this opportunity to explain this migration to electronic billing and settlement.

With electronic ticketing, any traveler can go online, buy an airplane ticket, and print out a boarding pass. Paperless travel has become the norm . . . for the front end. However, the back end—interline billing and settlement—is bogged down by an outdated paper-based process that is both time-consuming and expensive. About 160 tons of invoices and supporting documents are being shipped around the world every year, for an estimated total cost of US$10–20 million.

A problem inherent in the current process is the difficulty a billed carrier encounters when reconciling the data provided through three different streams: the IDEC billing file, the IATA Clearing House (ICH) settlement file, and the paper invoice, which takes at least a month to reach the billed carrier by mail or courier.

To make matters worse, documents can get lost in the mail or not reach their intended destination. Invoices then have to be recreated and sent back to the airlines—creating a time gap that can affect the accuracy and timeliness of internal revenue-management reporting.

Benefits of Paperless Billing and Settlement

SIS aims to take paper out of the system altogether. When fully implemented in 2013, it will save the industry US$450–700 million annually. These savings will be achieved by the elimination of paper, courier fees, mail charges, and lost documents, and the improvement of internal airline-process efficiencies.

With SIS, a carrier will submit a single electronic billing file. Simultaneously and instantaneously, this file will be converted into an invoice and settlement file, sent to the billed airline, and cleared through the ICH. With over 350 members, the ICH has an annual throughput of US$50 billion. The proposed solution will be tightly integrated into a single platform called Integrated Settlement (IS). The existing separate systems will be integrated to offer the carrier a single point of communication.

This solution—developed in close collaboration with the airlines—eliminates the time gaps and delays, duplications, and inconsistencies, while significantly reducing margins for error.

SIS and RAM

In order to lay the groundwork for its implementation, SIS has been a major focus of IATA’s annual Revenue Accounting Meetings (RAM) since 2008. This year, the 45th RAM, held in Miami from 13 to 15 September, set a new attendance record, with 356 attendees representing 112 airlines and 19 system suppliers. A total of 20 Strategic Partners attended (listed below), including Kale Consultants, system developer for SIS. This high attendance can be attributed to the imminent implementation of SIS.

Going Live: The SIS Timeline

On 8 October 2011, SIS successfully went live in the Passenger and Miscellaneous ICH categories. The other two categories, Cargo and UATP (Universal Air Travel Plan) will be going live in April 2012.

It is expected that migration from the current paper-based process to the electronic process will be complete by 2013. However, the current IDEC processing of Passenger and Cargo files at ATPCO will be discontinued in September 2012. By this time, passenger and cargo carriers will have to sign the Integrated Settlement Participation Agreement (ISPA) to receive files from SIS. Without a signed agreement, the airline will not have access to SIS.

To learn more about the future of electronic billing and settlement, please visit SIS.

Here are the 20 Strategic Partners who attended RAM:

  • Accelya
  • Accounting Centre of China Aviation
  • Amadeus IT Group, S.A.
  • Aviation Services (Ireland) Limited
  • Ceicom, an Indra Company
  • Interline Archeology, Inc.
  • ISO Software Systeme GmbH
  • Kale Consultants Ltd.
  • Lufthansa Systems
  • Maureva Ltd.
  • Mercator
  • Miami Technology Group, Inc.
  • Navitaire
  • NIIT Technologies
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Sabre Airline Solutions
  • SITA
  • Sutherland Global Services
  • Travelport GDS
  • UATP
 
 
 

ARINC Incorporated: Taking a Big Step Toward e-Enablement with Cathy Pacific

ARINC and Cathay Pacific’s e-Enabled Aircraft Partnership began in 2004, with a simple request for an electronic document viewer. Within six years, ARINC had changed a Cathay Pacific B777 into a flying node on the carrier’s enterprise network, running half a dozen major new productivity applications.

ARINC’s solution answers the question, “How many benefits can an airline derive by using an electronic flight bag (EFB)?” Last March, following years of development and flight testing, and months of operational evaluation, ARINC and Cathay Pacific declared their project an unqualified success. The solution will play a key role in advancing Cathay Pacific’s e-Enablement initiative, because the data it delivers will cut across all divisions of the company.

ARINC and Cathay Pacific formed a technical partnership, working toward an EFB definition that would meet the airlines’ objectives. It had to present “one common look—a standard interface” on any Cathay aircraft. When the system was fully defined, it was a flexible, integrated aircraft/ground end-to-end IT infrastructure. The companies proved their concept viable by using an A330 simulator. Then, the architecture was refined and key vendor relationships were established.

In November 2008, ARINC and Cathay Pacific agreed to move forward with a full trial program of their solution, using a Cathay B777-300. Three EFBs would be installed in the cockpit, and one in the cabin. The year 2010 was marked by a successful flight test and certification from the FAA and Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department. Then Cathay and ARINC performed a six-month operational evaluation before declaring their trial an unqualified success. Now, Cathay and ARINC are working together to implement the e-Enabled solution fleet-wide.

Ryan C. Cullers
ARINC

 
 
 

AWAS: Delivering Innovative Aviation-finance Solutions for Our Customers

AWAS is a proven aviation-finance platform with a fleet of over 200 aircraft on lease to 90 customers in 45 countries around the globe.

One of the meaningful differences that we can deliver to our airline customers is a broader array of fleet solutions. AWAS can offer new Airbus and Boeing aircraft, mid-life aircraft, as well as both passenger and freighter variants.

Recently, one of our customers, GOL in Brazil, modified their strategy to move away from long-haul routes. They wanted the flexibility to evolve their fleet mix quickly to support this new business model, helping to drive sustained profitability. AWAS’ Global Sales Team responded immediately by working directly with GOL management to develop a customized solution.

As a result of working together in partnership, AWAS agreed to an early return of two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft we had in GOL’s fleet. We also agreed to purchase and then lease back to the airline five new Boeing 737-800s that GOL had previously ordered directly from the manufacturer.

AWAS was able to redeploy the highly desirable 767s to an existing customer, Nordwind in Russia, as well as to a new customer, EL AL.

At AWAS, we believe that our people’s expertise, combined with our focus on long-term relationships and the ability to understand a customer’s unique needs, is what enables us to provide innovative solutions.

Ray Sisson
AWAS

 
 
 

Gates and Partners: The Best Case Scenario

There are many types of competition or antitrust lawyers. Some cover many industries at the same time; others specialize. This article is about specializing.

When the letter from the competition authority landed on my desk, I could see it would be trouble.

An investigation had begun into an airline, my client. To assist the authority, we had to provide an extraordinary volume of information, including e-mails, handwritten notes, forecasts, documents, and more. For many months afterward, the requests for information, weighty responses, and advocacy continued until we persuaded the authority that there was no case to answer. This was no small challenge. My job was to translate information my client took for granted in running its business into terms which the authority, with no prior industry knowledge, could understand.

Meanwhile, I was seeking to persuade a different competition authority that a merger between two rival airlines should not take place, which, to date, it has not. In another case, I was arguing for two different airlines to be allowed to enter into a deal, which the relevant authorities approved a short time later. More recently, I have been giving advice on slot allocation, ground-handling rules, airport charging and Open Skies agreements.

This job is about seeing the wood for the trees, listening to and learning about what really matters to the client, and putting forward the best case in all circumstances.

Jeremy Robinson

Gates and Partners

 
 
 

InterGlobe Technologies Pvt. Ltd.: Integrated IT & BPO

Outsourcing of information technology (IT) and business-process outsourcing (BPO) by airlines have changed dramatically—both are now global and virtual. As outsourcing supports a dynamic operating environment, it’s not about technology or process but rather about the outcomes that airlines expect.

InterGlobe Technologies’ (IGT) integrated IT-BPO solutions operate across the entire value chain of travel, right from the calculation of complex fares to the management of mainframe solutions, from managing dynamic multi-contact channels to building e-commerce and mobile platforms. These solutions help airlines reduce the total cost of outsourcing while benefitting from unified governance, enhanced knowledge management, and standardized operations, thus achieving faster time to market and staying ahead in these challenging times.

IGT’s solutions help achieve specific business goals, including revenue generation, customer satisfaction, and new media management. For instance, one of our revenue solutions encompasses components of customer service, such as reservations—technology-driven Internet-booking engines (IBE)—coupled with revenue-intelligence services, such as sales audits. This integrated solution helps the airlines drive top-line growth while generating significant savings from the revenue-intelligence hub.

With IGT’s integrated IT-BPO solutions, airlines can focus on core business activities while our solutions work toward maximizing business performance.

Neeloy Sarkar
INTERGLOBE

 
 
 

Lufthansa Systems: Long-standing Cooperation with Singapore Airlines in Flight Planning

Lufthansa Systems offers airlines one of the most powerful and effective flight-planning and dispatch solutions worldwide. It is used by a growing number of airlines around the globe, including industry leaders like Singapore Airlines. When the carrier replaced its own flight-planning system back in 2002, it selected a Lufthansa Systems solution.

The dispatch process is a fundamental part of an airline’s flight operations. Dispatchers must analyze a variety of parameters, for instance air traffic, airports, weather, and aircraft-performance data.

The flight-planning solution from Lufthansa Systems gives dispatchers a wide range of optimization options to find the shortest flying time, lowest cost, or lowest level of fuel consumption. “Because of the automatic interpretation of weather data and NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen), our dispatchers have fewer items to check,” says Capt. Goh Kah Kheng, Singapore Airlines’ Vice President, Flight Operations (Technical). He adds, “For this reason, they are able to dispatch more flights per shift, improving their productivity.”

Lufthansa Systems offers an additional module to optimize routes in free-flight airspaces, where airlines are no longer restricted to airways. This opens up almost unlimited options to calculate the most efficient routing. In 2010, Singapore Airlines used this solution with their own module to calculate a demonstration flight. It was part of the ASPIRE initiative to reduce emissions in Asia and the Pacific.

The flight from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo achieved fuel savings of more than ten tons. Capt. Goh attributes about four tons to the optimization by the flight-planning system from Lufthansa Systems.

“Lufthansa Systems has proven to be a reliable partner. They deliver a very precise system. And it is particularly important to us that Lufthansa Systems has maintained the quality since we started using the product,” says Capt. Goh.

Mi-Kyung Lee

Lufthansa Systems

 
 
 

Navtech Inc.: Focus on Flight-plan Intricacies

We live in a fast-paced digital age, and our aviation technologies must lead the way. Flight-planning products incorporate vast amounts of evolving data. The accuracy of that data delivery, along with the flight plans produced by our tools, is vital to maintain airline safety and productivity. Navtech embraces the opportunity to participate in this daily challenge.

Navtech’s flight-planning tool streamlines users’ experience, increases their productivity, and helps them make informed and safe decisions. In response to ongoing market demand, the tool’s latest release (September 2011) supports these efforts and also incorporates expanded functionalities, including considerations for data access.

Providing early product documentation is a new imperative for this tool. To ease the transition, users have help files and user manuals in hand weeks prior to the release. Pilots have a customized account to brief them on routes, reports, maps, and help files. Color-coded by priority, news alerts are displayed on a clearly visible status bar flanking the map. The versatile map is searchable by airport, airway, flight-information region (FIR), or waypoint. All of these features are enhanced by multi-tasking; users can toggle to the Help screen and use multiple sessions without losing continuity within a task.

This collection of custom information exemplifies Navtech’s commitment to deliver quality information. Navtech is dedicated to providing affordable, high-quality, and mission-critical aeronautical products and services.

Andrea Murray
NAVTECH

 
 
 

NCR Corporation: One Platform, Many Advantages

Why Airports Are Adopting a Common-use Approach to Deliver an Uncommon Passenger Experience

With airport real estate at a premium, airports of all sizes are beginning to adopt a common-use strategy to adapt to the changing needs of airlines, optimize non-aviation revenue, and improve the traveler experience. NCR and IATA recently co-hosted a webinar exploring how Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, in California, has employed common-use technology to address these challenges, and how they expect to benefit as a result. The webinar was moderated by Air Transport World.

To find out more about this collaboration, access the archived webinar>>

NCR

 
 
 

NIIT Technologies: The Route-profitability Solution That Will Take You Far

The dynamic and volatile economic environment is compelling global airlines to remain nimble and responsive to change in order to stay ahead. Improving efficiency and profitability is key to survival. Today, most route and network planners deal with their operational and accounting systems separately while making future projections, without looking at profitability in an integrated manner.

However, what they need is this:

  • Access to relevant and accurate operations and financial information in one single system
  • A powerful integrated tool to compare the existing profitability scenario with business projections
  • A route-profitability analysis solution that can help them improve top- and bottom-line performance

The NIIT Technologies solution provides airlines with a powerful analytic engine to identify revenue optimization and cost-control opportunities. This tool assists with decision making and enhances forecasting capabilities, not to mention the bottom line. In addition, the tool facilitates data mining, multi-level and multi-dimensional analysis and reporting (in user-friendly formats), and “what if” projections using scenario builds.

By employing the route-profitability tool, airlines can also monitor their key performance indicators (KPIs), undertake post-flight analysis, and use features such as an interactive dashboard, a web-based user interface, and provision for ad hoc queries. They can also determine the cost-breakdown structure with the desired depth of detail, enabling them to identify deviations and take corrective action.

Airlines can leverage the NIIT solution to remain globally competitive, improve services, and attract and retain vital customers.

Anil Batra

NIIT

 
 
 

Simplifying the Business

Baggage Improvement Program (BIP)

The Baggage Improvement team has achieved both the One-to-One Diagnosis visit and IATA Board self-help targets for the BIP project.

The BIP Team has completed 60 airport visits since the launch of BIP and has helped many of IATA’s member airlines reduce their baggage mishandling rates.

Engagements come either from local contacts or from BIP team contacts, who then sponsor a week-long visit to the airport. Most recently, the team visited Toronto Pearson International Airport and is now working toward achieving 80 visits by the end of 2012, with visits to Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, Delhi, and Detroit airports still to come in 2011.

The self-helps are either engaged by local IATA offices, Star Alliance, or American Airlines. Since launching this initiative last year, over 75 self-helps have been completed.

What’s involved?
The airport and airlines involved complete a short workbook on baggage mishandling.

The BIP team sends a findings report giving the airport’s overall performance relative to similarly sized airports and regional competitors. The team also advises on how to reduce mishandling at that airport based on solutions from the Baggage Improvement Program Toolkit.

So far, the program has recommended solutions for over 22% of the world’s baggage mishandling. It has also identified savings of over US$800 million, based on the 2007 baseline costs of $3.8 billion.

For more project information and materials, please visit BIP.

Nagoya Live on e-freight

Two of the main global e-freight movers, Lufthansa Airlines and Schenker, have performed the first e-freight shipment out of Centrair Airport in Nagoya, destination Frankfurt. Thanks to the very high level of interest shown toward e-freight by the local stakeholders, Nagoya will be the third e-freight-live airport in Japan. The first two were Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport.

E-freight@Singapore

A multi-party initiative, e-freight@Singapore is led by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), which aims to integrate the air-cargo and logistics supply chain through the adoption of paperless air freight.

Built on the e-freight program, the platform leverages data captured at first instance (data@source) and its electronic transmission in an interconnected supply chain. This process will enhance the capabilities of industries by improving the accuracy of data and raising efficiency and productivity.

Since 2010, CAAS has introduced four e-freight@Singapore program tracks, as shown below.

E-freight@Singapore: 4 Program Tracks

  1. Air Cargo Agents IT Readiness/Survey BRIDGES Program
    • Establish Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) current IT capabilities.
    • Identify and close gaps.
  2. Air Freight Process Productivity Study (AFPPS)
    • Demonstrate costs and benefits to implement e-freight.
  3. Implementation Plan
    • Engage industry for sustainable solutions.
    • Private sector leads innovation.
  4. Industry Outreach and Engagement
    • Engage industry to build interest.

Recent developments include the completion of an Air Freight Process Productivity Study (AFPPS). Conducted by The Logistics Institute–Asia Pacific (TLI-AP) the study looks at the existing air-cargo export process and establishes the cost and benefits of implementing e-freight@Singapore.

A Call for Collaboration (CFC) under the Implementation Plan Track was open from 30 March to 30 June 2011. When deployed, the CFC solutions will provide the industry with innovative e-freight solutions.

In addition, CAAS has organized several outreach events locally and overseas in Amsterdam and Australia in 2011. The objective of these events is to engage and update the industry on Singapore’s e-freight efforts and encourage participation in the program.

CAAS will be rolling out the BRIDGES program with Singapore’s national IT agency at a later stage to help our Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) air-cargo agents upgrade their IT capabilities when adopting e-freight@Singapore.

Progress in e-services

The goal of IATA e-services is to facilitate the sales and collection of ancillary services through all distribution channels. The use of IATA's electronic miscellaneous document (EMD) standard will also help take the remaining paper out of airline-ticketing processes.

The IATA e-services project has an IATA Board target, which aims to enable the growth of airlines’ ancillary services:

  • The project’s target is 100% adoption of the EMD standard to facilitate sales of ancillaries with travel agencies.
  • More than 40 airlines will be EMD-capable at the end of 2011, attesting to the industry’s adoption of EMD.

Recently, 6 airlines (TAM Mercosur, Boliviana de Aviacon, Middle East Airlines, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, and Iberia) issued a first EMD in September 2011, bringing the total number of EMD-capable airlines to 28.

Iberia becomes the third airline to report EMDs in an IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) with Amadeus in Spain. Congratulations to Iberia IT Providers (Resiber) and Amadeus for making an effort to use IATA’s standard to fulfill purchases via EMDs.

The project aims to facilitate ancillary-revenue sales through all distribution channels by using the IATA EMD standard. The IATA Board has set a mandate for industry capability to issue EMDs by the end of 2012 and for 100% usage in BSPs by the end of 2013.

For more project information and materials, please visit IATA e-services.

 
 
 

IATA Conferences and Events

IATA conferences, exhibitions, and industry meetings provide outstanding networking opportunities in addition to an association with the IATA brand, a world-class global endorsement. These events cover areas as diverse as pricing, ground handling, legal issues, fuel, and security, among others, which benefit airlines, airports, travel and cargo professionals, as well as service providers and governments.

Featured events

IATA Lithium Battery Workshop
8–9 November 2011 — Shanghai, China
Shipments of lithium batteries via air cargo continue to grow as new applications are brought to market. Despite this widespread usage, uncertainties remain for shippers (manufacturers and distributors), freight forwarders, ground-handling agents, and airlines concerning the application of the regulations applicable to the testing, packaging, and shipping of lithium batteries by air.

IATA Cargo Claims and Loss Prevention Conference
8–10 November 2011 — Shanghai, China
The IATA Cargo Claims and Loss Prevention Conference—unique within the industry—accommodates the special needs of a very important but often neglected niche. As one of the world’s largest markets, China, this year’s host, has become vitally important to all players in the air-cargo industry.

Aviation Fuel Forum
15–17 November 2011 — Paris, France
The IATA Aviation Fuel Forum is the premier industry meeting for the world’s aviation-fuel community. The Forum is a unique platform allowing airline representatives, fuel suppliers, and Strategic Partners to discuss industry priorities and agree on actions that enhance efficiency and productivity.

IATA, ICAO, and IFALPA Fatigue Risk Management Systems Workshop
17–18 November 2011 — London, UK
Aircraft are increasingly able to operate longer sectors. While our understanding of the relationship between human fatigue and performance continues to evolve, managing the balance between what is technically possible with what is humanly possible is complex.

129th Slot Conference
17–19 November 2011 — Singapore
With nearly 1000 delegates from over 200 airlines and representatives of over 60 schedules-facilitated or fully coordinated airports, this semi-annual meeting is IATA’s largest event. The goal of this “working” conference is for airlines and airports to obtain the slots that will give them the best possible schedule to offer their customers.

Airline Operational Efficiency Workshop
1–2 December 2011 — Moscow Region, Russia
The Airline Operational Efficiency Workshop presents methodologies to measure airline performance and improve operational efficiency. This is an opportunity for participants to enhance their understanding of operational cost-management initiatives in the areas of flight operations, technical operations, and ground operations.

Watch for upcoming events!

IATA Legal Symposium
5–7 February 2012
Shanghai, China

IATA Training and Qualification Initiative Conference
15–16 February 2012
London, UK

World Cargo Symposium
13–15 March 2012
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wings of Change VII
28–30 March 2012
Santiago, Chile

IATA's Annual General Meeting
10–12 June 2012
Beijing, China

Visit IATA Events regularly for an updated list of all upcoming events.

Michael Huntington
Manager, IATA Conferences and Events
Tel: +1 450 715 1313

 
 
 

New Strategic Partners

Since 1990, IATA Strategic Partners have been contributing to IATA and the air transport industry through their involvement in the Strategic Partnerships program.

We are happy to introduce the following new Strategic Partners. Access the company websites directly by clicking on their logos.

airfacts AWAS
Gatwick Software Logistics GVSI
MixJet PANUS
SASI TERPEL
UNAR Aerofuel Valero
WIPRO

For a complete list of Strategic Partners, and to learn more about what they offer, please visit our online directory

 
 
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