JAL signs comprehensive Sabre AirFlite agreement


Southlake (SABRE) - Japan Airlines (JAL), Asia's leading airline group, has selected Sabre Airline Solutions' AirFlite suite of integrated decision support products to optimize its scheduling development process end to end, from planning to distribution. By implementing the latest version of AirFlite, the carrier will integrate core functions such as scheduling, profitability forecasting and analysis, fleet and network optimization and slot management to enhance revenues and reduce operating costs.

The airline will also employ significant consulting services from Sabre Airline Solutions to ensure the comprehensive adoption and utilization of this technology, providing a total solution that will help Japan Airlines realize the full benefits of the AirFlite suite.

"At Japan Airlines we are aiming to create an airline group with enhanced customer appeal and a fundamentally strong business model," said Shunichi Saito, JAL CIO. "We are committed to constantly listening to the needs of our customers, and we refine our offering to meet and exceed those needs in the most efficient way. To do that we must be able to quickly make changes to our schedules and effectively integrate our network so that the customer enjoys fast itineraries to desired destinations at preferred times of day."

Sabre AirFlite is ideally suited to give JAL the flexibility to make tactical short-term adjustments to satisfy customer demands, as well as effect longer term strategic plans.

"Sabre AirFlite gives us the flexibility to make short-term adjustments to flights to satisfy changes to market needs on any particular day, week, or month, as well as improve longer term strategic plans so that we can, for example, buy the best possible aircraft mix," said JAL's Director of Corporate Planning, Hirofumi Kono. "Our planners will begin using the tool starting July 18."

By adopting the AirFlite suite, JAL will be able to continually decide which markets to serve and how often, when to fly and what type of aircraft to assign to a specific route. The carrier will also be able to track slot rights at slot-coordinated airports as well as evaluate the profitability of various scheduling alternatives and codeshare opportunities to stay ahead of the competition. This capability will be especially useful to Japan Airlines as it executes its recent decision to join the multilateral airline alliance, oneworld.

"Japan Airlines has taken a leadership position in its planning and decision making capability by adopting the full AirFlite suite," said Andrew Powell, Sabre Airline Solutions vice president for Asia-Pacific. "They operate in an environment of fierce competition with constant changes such as the pending increase in capacity at Haneda Airport, the increased refinement of key Asian hubs, and the emergence of new low fare competitors. The airline that can adapt to constantly changing market conditions fastest is the 'winner'. This is what AirFlite is really about -- making better and faster decisions than your airline competitors and thereby satisfying the needs of more customers at any point in time. It's about making the best possible use of available airline assets to ensure the greatest return for shareholders."

Japan Airlines also engaged Sabre Airline Solutions consultants to help address organizational challenges and craft strategic alternatives to improve operational results. Under this agreement, Sabre will provide business support to ensure faster and greater return on investment (ROI) and focus on delivering business value to the airline.

"This is very much a business project with an IT application component and the approach taken by Japan Airlines and Sabre Airline Solutions reflects this point. New technology is only truly implemented when it is fully embraced by users in standard day-to-day procedures," said Nejib Ben-Khedher, president and managing partner of the aviation consulting practice at Sabre Airline Solutions. "Sabre consultants are working side-by-side with JAL to ensure comprehensive adoption and utilization of this technology. This is fundamental to designing the carrier's business plan and supporting strategic initiatives."

Specific components of the AirFlite suite to be implemented by Japan Airlines include the following:

  • Sabre AirFlite Schedule Manager -- a system that enables schedulers to continuously explore better scheduling solutions. Using the system, schedulers can manage flight schedules, view single or multiple flight schedules, and update and distribute flight schedules.
  • Sabre AirFlite Fleet Manager -- a system that optimizes fleet capacity to market demand to maximize total network profitability within the airline's operating constraints. The system also quantifies the financial impact associated with individual operating constraints and evaluates the financial impact of varying fleet and equipment types on a proposed schedule.
  • Sabre AirFlite Profit Manager -- a system that enables airlines to evaluate the profitability of a proposed flight schedule, forecast market share resulting from the implementation of a proposed schedule, and evaluate the impact on profitability from proposed schedule changes.

Japan Airlines joins other leading carriers such as Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, American Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines that employ AirFlite to optimize flight scheduling operations. With over 70 customers, including 24 out of the top 25 airlines, Sabre AirFlite is the market leader in the area of airline planning and scheduling.

The JAL implementation is expected to be complete in late 2006.

Sabre is a CAPA Member. For more information on the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's membership service, please click the icon below.




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