Deutsche Lufthansa AG: developing a common IT platform

Outsourcing and improving passenger data handling. Lufthansa revs up with the Amadeus common IT platform.

Overview

With the support of Accenture, Lufthansa is realigning its passenger service system to speed up its customer service while making system operations more efficient and cost effective. With this realignment, the airline can provide its customers new offerings at a very short notice, improve services even further and check passengers into the Star Alliance network even more smoothly than before. This is the logical next step for a high-performance company best characterized by high customer satisfaction, strict cost controls and a focus on core competence.

Business Challenge
In 2010, nearly 91 million passengers took more than a million flights of the Lufthansa Passage Airline Group to Lufthansa destinations across the world. The previous year, the figures were 77 million passengers and 100,000 flights less. Based on these figures, one can easily guess the level of performance to which the computer centers at Deutsche Lufthansa AG must measure up, both today and tomorrow, to ensure that route planning, pricing, reservations and passenger check-in functions smoothly with all of the partners involved. 

Given the task involved, an update of the legacy systems, in some cases in use for up to 30 years, was out of the question: that would have resulted in high costs without delivering the desired networking with Star Alliance partners.

Lufthansa decided to outsource data handling and switched over to the multiple-airline common IT platform offered by service provider Amadeus. Amadeus operates and continues to develop this platform to this day. Most of the 27 partners in the Star Alliance network intend to take this same step in the years to come. Their common goal is to store connections and passenger data of all partners in a common IT system. This way, if necessary—such as when a passenger on a long-haul itinerary with a layover switches from Lufthansa to Singapore Airlines—there is no longer any need for data interchange, and airline staff has direct access to all the information they need. This provides multiple airline partners the capability for even smoother passenger check-in, better service and efficient billing formalities in the background.

Solution

The common IT platform Lufthansa is introducing as the first Star Alliance heavyweight is based on the Altéa system by Amadeus, with several portfolio modules: Altéa Inventory, Altéa Reservation and Altéa Departure Control Services. With this solution, Lufthansa can integrate all flight and passenger data, and all processes linked to inventory, with counterpart entities at alliance partners.

Lufthansa brought experts from Accenture on board to help ensure a speedy and secure migration of the complex of networked data during ongoing operation. Accenture helped Lufthansa transfer the data quickly and smoothly and realign its passenger service system without any interruption to ongoing operations. The goal was, first, to coordinate Lufthansa processes with the standard software, and then to encourage the developer and operator firm Amadeus to add functions of interest to Lufthansa and other carriers. Accenture is helping the Lufthansa divisions involved to complete all of the activities required for the change over on time to ensure a smooth transition.

Results

With the common IT platform, the airline can more effectively network all of its flight and passenger data, and all processes linked to inventory, with counterpart entities at alliance partners. This way, Lufthansa can coordinate and manage its capacities more efficiently today while making even more of the sales potential the route network has to offer.

The complexity of Lufthansa's own IT systems was reduced in the process. Processes handled through Amadeus are considerably more cost-efficient. The quality and speed of data processing has measurably improved. Overall as a result of the project, Lufthansa can now introduce new products to the market more quickly, reach customers faster with new offers, and significantly boost customer satisfaction in the process.