Migrating an airline passenger service system - a decision not to be taken lightly

Mabrouk Sediri

VP, Global Delivery Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group

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Migrating to a new passenger service system is a major decision for any airline to take, given the significant operational and technical implications. The PSS holds a wide range of product information, as well as important passenger data (such as journey history and customer preferences). It also governs the airline’s mission-critical reservation, inventory and departure control processes.

airline on hands

So why change PSS?

In the past, airline IT systemswere built around the limited, and primarily flight-focused information, required to manage flight operations. Today, as airlines adopt more sophisticated merchandising approaches and hold a greater range of information about their customers, it is often necessary for airlines to migrate to a more sophisticated PSS.

However, migrations are highly complex, making the airline vulnerable as it effectively undergoes a 'transplant' - replacing vital legacy technology components with new systems, while ensuring that valuable data files are protected and any impact on operations is minimised. This process requires considerable expertise from the chosen PSS provider, who must work closely with the airline to mitigate any potential risks.

Amadeus has successfully moved some 100 airlines to the Amadeus Altéa Suite. We use a tried and tested methodology, based on principles which have been refined over the years. Having said that, no two airline migrations are the same - every implementation is unique to each customer, but the underlying principleswe follow are the same.

We listen, we learn, we improve in the pursuit of customer service excellence

While each PSS migration project is unique, it is important to learn from the opportunities and challenges presented by previous PSS migrations. For example, Amadeus maintains a database of more than four hundred risks associated with PSS migrations, accompanied by explanations of how they were mitigated. Such extensive background knowledge is invaluable and gives airlines confidence in our ability to successfully manage their own PSS migration project. During each step of the program, our business team exchanges this knowledge and industry best practices with the airlinebeing migrated.

Support is equally important pre and post-migration, and we ensure our team is on-hand, to spend the first few weeks of operations on-the-ground with the airline, ready to provide assistance when required.

To sum up, preparation and anticipation will determine the success of a PSS migration. Aim always to be one step ahead, drawing on previous experience, expertise, technical skills and background knowledge to be prepared for any eventuality. Migrating a PSS is undoubtedly an extremely complex IT project, and involves airlines facing challenges and taking risks. It is our job to ensure these are controlled and the outcome results in tangible benefits for the airline's mission-critical business processes.


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