Solving the challenge of ever increasing flight search volumes

Hervé Couturier

Head of R&D, Amadeus IT Group

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How many times did you search for flights before booking your last trip? Were you one of the few decisive people that checked just a couple of times? Did you methodically check more than 10 times? How about 1,000 times?

The exponential growth of consumer browsing and shopping for airline products across digital channels have led to a massive, and continuously increasing, volume of shopping transactions. Airline ‘look-to-book’ ratios i.e. the average number of search requests before a flight booking is actually made – were previously as low as 10:1. Today, these can easily run to 1,000:1. Moreover, demand is never constant, thus, managing demand fluctuations requires the ability to anticipate strong traffic peaks and make necessary capacity arrangements – a challenging task for the airlines.

To cope with the pressure of ever increasing online shopping transactions, cache-based solutions were developed. However, cache-based systems have certain limitations, as they do not accurately reflect an airline’s sophisticated revenue management policies. They also conflict with real-time revenue optimization, thus, hindering an airlines’ merchandising and personalisation capabilities – “to make the right product offer to the right customer at the right time for the right price.”

Amadeus, with the help of the Google Cloud Platform, has developed a unique cloud-based solution to cope with these pressures: Amadeus Airline Cloud Availability. This dynamic availability solution helps airlines manage this huge increase in search and shopping volumes, whilst applying dynamic revenue management strategies and enhancing the user experience.

Amadeus Airline Cloud Availability, which has been successfully piloted by Lufthansa using the Google Cloud Platform infrastructure as a service, enables instances of airline data and revenue management logic to be deployed remotely in the cloud, on all continents to serve local demand.

By synchronising the airline’s central systems and the distributed instances of the airline’s availability calculation in real-time, consumers can search and shop for Lufthansa’s offers more efficiently and receive 100% accurate results of the airline’s availability. At the same time, the airline does not lose out on any sale opportunity by being able to respond to these exponentially growing shopping requests, whilst protecting the airline’s own central systems. The solution can be scaled up on demand to meet the airline and channel needs offering flexibility and efficiency. Combined with highly automated cloud infrastructure, it copes with any search peak, which means airlines do not need to anticipate such peaks several months in advance.

Amadeus is in a unique position to provide this ready-made solution to all airlines, including Altéa PSS customers. Amadeus Airline Cloud Availability is built to face the new and future challenges of an industry revolutionised by digital shopping and we are excited to have successfully piloted this unique solution with the help of Lufthansa and the Google Cloud Platform offering worldwide deployment and reach. Visit the Amadeus Newsroom for more about this new solution.

Amadeus cloud availability infographic


Cloud Technology, Travel Search, Altea, Research