Russian tourist agencies admitted successful introduction of one of the largest technological projects in the country. It happened six months after Aeroflot transferred from the outdated technology to the modern system by converting all the data in a night. The large agencies and representative offices have been awaiting introduction of the project.
Aeroflot has successfully completed the process of transformation from outdated to the progressive system, which includes reservation, operational programs; solutions support software and hardware, supplied by different branches of the Sabre Holdings. A complete revision of IT issues together with equipment modernization and software updating as well as revision of Aeroflot’s politics on its market positioning allow the airline successfully compete on the international air carriages’ market and lay the foundation for the entrance in the international Sky Team alliance.
Technological project represented mutual deal between Aeroflot and two branches of the Sabre Holdings, providing transformation to software and hardware solutions and products, supplied by Sabre Airline Solutions for solving internal operational issues. The project was closely connected with signing the Agreement on marketing and distribution between Aeroflot and Sabre Travel Network – the company, which has the largest global distribution system (GDS). GDS is a technology, used by the tourist agencies and airlines personnel for reservations.
The project has involved not only transformation to a new reservation system in the framework of Aeroflot, but a transformation to a new system, used by 6000 authorized airlines’ tourist agencies in more than 3000 locations in Russia and abroad. The project attracted specialists’ attention in the aviation and technological spheres all over the world. It made Sabre system the most extensively used system by the tourist agencies in Russia. The company assumes that 53.5 per cent of all reservations in Russia were made via Sabre system in July.
In order to start transformation to Sabre system, approx. 7000 new computer terminals were installed in the tourist agencies and Aeroflot offices. More than 5000 of installed computer terminals had software written in Russian. More than 3000 Aeroflot employees and tourist agencies’ representatives were trained to work with a new system before transformation began. The trainings were held in Russia as well as in Hamburg, Rome, Los-Angeles and London.
According to Aeroflot, the transformation to Sabre system did not significantly influence the sales and well established interaction between different Aeroflot branches, some of that are located thousands kilometers from each other.
“It was a huge project not only by the Russian standards, but by the global standards as well. It was, undoubtedly, the largest and the most complicated project on data transformation out of all the projects, ever implemented by our company in Europe and surely one of the most significant projects, fulfilled by Sabre on a global scale”, -Tom Klein, president of Sabre Airline Solutions and Sabre Travel Network groups, stated.
In Russia not everyone believed that the transformation of Aeroflot to Sabre system would be fulfilled. The night before transformation, 48 telephone calls were registered in the company’s IT department, out of them 48 contained the question whether Aeroflot was really transferring to Sabre system.
“We used all possible ways to deliver the essence of the project to the Russian tourist agencies during the data transformation. We also trained agencies’ representatives to work with the system MYSabre Aeroflot. Nevertheless, a lot of issues were put aside to the last moment, i.e. proposed training or necessary operational changes in the documentation processing”, says Klein.
According to the Regional Aeroflot Sales department manager for Russia, Sergey Obryvalin, in spite of all the prejudice and expectation of sales drop, it did not happen, and problems, connected with migration, were minimal.
“ I would especially like to remark on the positive attitude and support of the agents on the current stage of the transition period», - Obryvalin pointed out.
The major Russian tourist agencies and structures, engaged in the air carriages segment, positively reacted on the Aeroflot initiative to update outdated reservation system.
“It is worth mentioning that in the beginning we were somewhat worried by the Aeroflot decision to install Sabre system as an inventory and reservation systems management solution. Our agency felt some tension since reservation of Aeroflot flights amounts to more than one third out of our total sales volume. However, during the preparation process and during the transformation itself Sabre engineers and technical specialists put all possible efforts, and literally stayed at work day and night, providing installation and debugging. It is necessary to pay tribute to them for solving problems in the shortest possible time. Our united efforts brought results. The system is installed and working, and all complications, connected with the system startup, had been solved a long time ago. ”, Valery Rogach, “Infinity Travel” Managing Director reported.
The company “Infinity Travel” decided to enter pilot agencies’ association, selected by the Sabre Travel Network as test platforms, where a new system would be tested. Rogach says, “Such decision meant long-term perspectives. We had to initiate further training for 25 agents, engaged in direct tickets processing, however, since we were a test platform, Sabre company held on the spot trainings for all our consultants. It meant that people did not have to leave the office to attend training seminars, conducted by Sabre.
Alexander Spirin, director of the Moscow agency VIP Service, states that transformation to MySabre Aeroflot system was conducted precisely in accordance with the targeted plan.
“We have been thinking a lot how to make the transformation, and we prepared and planned it in advance. As a result, currently we can offer our clients the same service spectrum as before the transformation at any DAVS office. Moreover, MySabre Aeroflot system offers wider capabilities for clients’ service. I would like to thank Sabre Travel Network team, working in Russia, for their help and professionalism, showed during successful system’s presentation and transformation,” says Maltsev.
Igor Gorelov, ITC sales director said: “It is a pity that transformation to Sabre system did not come several years ago. It is like a toothache. As the time goes by you are getting used to it, but as soon as you have to visit a dentist, you ask yourself why you did not go earlier”
Aeroflot expects new reservation system, operational system and software solutions increase the company’s income by USD10-15 million during the first year. Further, a new system will increase annual income by USD20-30 million per year.
Partially, expenses’ optimization will happen due to telecommunication payments’ reduction. When using the Sabre system, the communications between tourist agencies and Aeroflot will be less costly due to Internet connection.
Sergey Obryvalin stressed that “Aeroflot should use the most recent and efficient technologies in the air carriages segment. Thus, we chose a complex of services, provided by Sabre company. Sabre company’s products are the most efficient when used in the tourist agencies and in the Aeroflot own sales offices. New technology offers us a whole spectrum of leading functional possibilities, which would increase the level of service for our clients. With transition to a new efficient system Aeroflot “booked” its ticket to the future!”
New system also provides a better protection level from “hackers” – unauthorized or illegal access in the system.
About “Aeroflot – Russian Airlines”
OJSC “Aeroflot-Russian Airlines” (RTS: AFTL) is the largest Russian airline and the major national carrier with 51% of the shares belonging to the state. It was established in 1923. It controls about 11 per cent of domestic and 39 per cent of international Russia’s air carriages market. Net income for 2004 amounted to USD172.1m (under IAS). It is included in the list of the 25 leading world airlines based on the financial performance (according to ATW magazine). In 2004 Aeroflot carried 6.8 million passengers. The aircraft fleet consists of 91 airplanes. The company is based in Moscow, Sheremetyevo airport. The company projects to finish construction of its own terminal “Sheremetyevo-3 by the end of 2007. Please look for the detailed information about the company at www.aeroflot.ru, www.aeroflotbonus.ru.
About Sabre Airline Solutions and Sabre Travel Network
Sabre Airline Solutions company belongs to Sabre Holdings and is the world largest provider of software products, reservation systems, departure control and other passenger traffic management systems as well as of consulting services, which help airlines to simplify their operations and reduce the prices. The increasing number of the airlines, which value its technologies and services, confirms the proved leadership of the Sabre Airline Solutions. More than 200 airlines all over the world use products, provided by Sabre Airline Solutions as technological support to increase profit and improve operations. Sabre Airline Solutions signed more than 500 agreements with other airlines in 2004 on the supply of its leading technologies. More than 100 airlines all over the world rely on Sabre Airline Solutions, regarding passengers’ traffic management. At the same time in 2004 eight new carriers chose SabreSonic system, the first new generation system, provided on the market, and six carriers received updated versions. Moreover, more than 100 clients turn to consulting group of Sabre Airline Solutions for strategic, commercial and operational consultations all over the world.
Sabre Travel Network belongs to Sabre Holdings and provides access to the leading world distribution system (GDS), which allows agents in more than 53000 places all over the world achieve the highest level of professional service. The GDS Sabre system is the first system, uniting air carriages sellers and buyers. Currently it includes 400 companies, approx. 60000 hotels and 37 car rental companies, 9 liners, 25 railway companies and 220 tourist operators. The major Sabre Travel Network brands are GetThere, the leading reservation technology for corporate trips via website, and Jurni Network, unique tourist agencies consortium, allowing its members to sell large number of services for the selected participant using modern marketing means.
Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG) is a world leader in the air carriages segment. It sells products for this segment and provides distribution and technological solutions. Please look for more detailed information at http://www.sabre-holdings.com.