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Aging Airline Computer Systems Under Scrutiny During Thanksgiving Travel Rush

LongIsland.com

According to a forecast by trade group Airlines for America, about 27.3 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines during the Thanksgiving travel period, up 2.5 percent from last year’s 26.6 million fliers.

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Recent issues and system crashes experienced by leading carriers have exposed the limitations and risks of the aging technology at use in the airline industry.

Photo by: Warisara Niemwongse, via Free Images.

Troy, MI - November 22, 2016 - According to a forecast by trade group Airlines for America, about 27.3 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines during the Thanksgiving travel period, up 2.5 percent from last year’s 26.6 million fliers. If these projections hold true, it will set a record for the number of people flying during the 12-day period surrounding Thanksgiving.

 

Against this backdrop, the recent issues and system crashes experienced by leading carriers have exposed the limitations and risks of the aging technology at use in the airline industry.

According to Raja Ray, Head of Retail, Logistics and Telecom at digital IT solution provider Syntel, the global airline industry is extremely volatile and computer glitches or IT problems cause not just delays and decreased customer satisfaction, but can also pose a more serious threat to the business.

“For airlines, consistent profitability is not guaranteed,” said Ray.  “Airlines operate on razor thin margins, and high operational costs affect their ability to accommodate customer demand. By leveraging new digital technologies, airlines can drive customer value and increase profit margins, but only if they work smoothly.”

Ray says that the airlines’ drive to digital must include an effort to streamline their technology and processes. One major challenge that airlines face is ensuring that their back-end systems are robust and scalable enough to accommodate the high volumes expected during the holiday travel season, as well as the latest front-end digital technology.

 

Findings in Criteo’s Q2 2016 Travel Flash Report indicate that 52 percent of total travel bookings in the U.S. are made either by mobile or across multiple devices. Travelers have grown accustomed to seamless 24/7 service across channels and touchpoints including booking, checking flight status, and the check-in, boarding and in-flight experience.

 

New functionality like online booking, mobile apps, SMS-based real-time alerts and other digital capabilities employ a wide range of different interfaces that may put a strain on underlying airline legacy systems. Ray points out that this patchwork of technologies can hinder an airline’s ability to meet customer demands, underscoring the need to invest in modernizing their core operational systems to support the multiple engagement channels favored by today’s travelers.

 

“For any business, it is not feasible to scrap their old systems and start over from scratch on a modern platform,” said Ray. “A more manageable approach is to take incremental steps to identify areas where quick wins can be achieved by reducing complexity and implementing automation.”

 

He asserts that once an initial number of small modernization projects have been completed, airlines will find that performance improvements from IT automation and consolidation lead to greater efficiency, and these savings can be directed towards modernizing and digitizing the enterprise.

 

“This sort of self-funding modernization approach not only has revenue generating potential, but also promotes increased customer loyalty and retention,” said Ray.

 

Ray’s recommendation to airlines looking to reduce their legacy system exposure is to reach out to a partner with a blend of legacy and digital skills to help manage the shift.
 

“There is no one size fits all approach. They key to success is determining the right approach to manage, migrate or modernize legacy systems, and a skilled partner is essential to implementing new digital capabilities without disrupting day-to-day operations.

 

About Syntel

Syntel (Nasdaq: SYNT) is the global leader in digital modernization services, with a core suite of automation-driven IT and knowledge process services. Syntel helps global enterprises thrive in the Two-Speed World™ by building agile, efficient technology infrastructures that blend legacy business models with disruptive digital innovations. Syntel’s recursive automation platform, SyntBots®, enables clients to manage, migrate, and modernize their business and technology ecosystems. Syntel believes in a "Customer for Life" philosophy to build collaborative partnerships and creates long-term business value for its clients by investing in IP, solutions and industry-focused delivery teams with deep domain knowledge.

 

To learn more, visit us at: www.syntelinc.com