- Move part of a reported $ 500 m five-year capital infusion from Government
- New modern aircraft to be purchased and services refurbished
By David Ebert
The country’s national carrier SriLankan Airlines and the global travel industry technology giant Amadeus IT Group announced last Thursday the signing of a landmark agreement that will see the airline upgrade its existing passenger service and reservations system to the new Amadeus Altea IT Suite by 2014.
The deal, which is the first of its kind for Amadeus in the Indian subcontinent, will enable both SriLankan and its sister airline Mihin Lanka to adopt the next generation IT platform in order to manage their mission-critical reservations, ticketing, inventory and departure control processes.
At the same time, the agreement between the two also paves way for SriLankan to gain entry into the prestigious oneworld global alliance, for which the Amadeus Altea IT Suite is the preferred standard operating platform, currently used by more than half of its member airlines.
Under the terms of the agreement the two companies are to work in close cooperation in the initial migration process to the new system, with the first phase covering the reservations, inventory and ticketing modules scheduled to be completed later this year.
The agreement with Sri Lankan follows a period of sustained success for Amadeus and its Altea suite across the Asia Pacific region during 2012 which saw new contracts signed with Garuda Indonesia and EVA Air and the more recent migrations completed were for Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines as well. In a statement released, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe said: “We consider this a significant move in our future plans to place SriLankan Airlines in an advantageous position and becoming the first airline to adopt the Altea Suite in the Indian subcontinent displays our commitment to be on par with the technological developments that are critical for efficiency in today’s aviation industry.”
With the airline currently a member elect of the oneworld alliance, the change to the new improved system is only the first of a number of improvements planned for the airline in the next five years.
SriLankan Airlines Director and Chief Executive Officer Kapila Chandrasena speaking at the ceremony speaking at the launch event said: “Implementing the Amadeus Altea Suite is crucial to the evolution and expansion of SriLankan Airlines and our inclusion within the oneworld global alliance. The Altea Suite will truly modernise our IT processes, enhancing our service provision, whilst enabling us to become a more customer-centric carrier than ever before.” In his speech Chandrasena also outlined the company’s plans for a long overdue overhaul of the existing aircraft and its related services, spread out over the next five years which would see a number of new aircraft acquisitions and services including refurbishment of the existing business class lounge as well. Responding to a query as to how the airline plans to fund such an ambitious modernisation program, Chandrasena explained: “We have gone to the government of Sri Lanka and we have got approval for a capital infusion of 500 million dollars over the next five years. So a part of that would be used to finance the new aircraft and modernise the fleet.”
Amadeus Asia Pacific President David Brett in his speech stated that the company is keen to meet the needs and demands of the increasing number of passengers flying from and within the Asia Pacific region and expressed his confidence that the Altea IT Suite would deliver on its expectations seamlessly.
“As an ever greater number of people fly from and within the Asia Pacific destinations, whether they’re first time flyers of seasoned business travellers, their demands and expectations are going to increase accordingly. Amadeus’ strategic direction is to provide the solutions airlines require to meet the current and future requirements of an increasingly discerning and demanding travelling public. This also includes helping airlines run as efficiently as possible while maintaining high levels of customer service. We’re delighted to support SriLankan Airlines as one of the most progressive airlines in the region.”
Pic by Upul Abayasekara