Qantas extends outsourcing agreement through to 2017

Qantas has extended its existing technology agreement with Amadeus right through to the year 2017.

The extended agreements cover the Altea customer management and online solutions that Amadeus currently provides to the airline, as well as a framework for the introduction and development of additional products and solutions in the future.

Qantas CIO, John Willett, said the seven-year relationship was based on collaboration and innovation.

"The development of Altea, which has become the leading customer management solution for airlines, has been a milestone for the industry and we expect that the next 10 years will help us to innovate further," he said.

"Earlier this year, Qantas commenced roll-out of a new load control system, Altea DC-Flight Management, with no disruption to our service, something we have come to expect in all our work with Amadeus."

The airline supports a fleet of 217 aircraft and carries more than 34 million passengers each year.

David Jones, commercial executive vice president of Amadeus said by signing an extension before it was due to expire, Amadeus and Qantas have committed to maximising the benefits of their relationship as well as looking at the role technology solutions will play in the future.

"Building on our successful partnership with Qantas, we will continue to develop solutions that help airlines secure competitive advantage," Jones added.

Under the extended agreements, Qantas will also adopt additional solutions including Amadeus Ticket Changer, which will automate the ticket change and re-issue process from any location in any currency, and Amadeus Service Fee Manager, which will allow the airline to accurately capture revenue flows and improve profitability.

In addition, Amadeus will also set up a Competency Centre for Qantas at the Amadeus Product and Development hub in Nice, France.

This will support e-commerce operations for the airline and complement an existing IT development centre in Sydney.

Qantas was the launch customer for Amadeus' Altea Customer Management Solution and today uses all three modules - Altea Reservation, Altea Inventory and Altea Departure Control (DC) - to manage its sales and reservations, inventory and flight departure management needs.

The final module of Altea DC, a new check-in, boarding and baggage management solution, is due to be implemented in 2008.

Qantas is also a user of Amadeus' e-commerce solutions and cut over to Amadeus e-Retail Engine in 2002.

Over 70 airlines worldwide use the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite to power over 250 Web sites in more than 80 markets.

Last year Qantas outsourced internal IT applications support and maintenance to Satyam Computer Services and Tata Consulting Services.

The transition is still in progress and involves shedding more than 340 Australian IT staff.

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Qantas blamed the skills shortage for offshore outsourcing with Willit claiming local companies have little choice but to seek out capability and depth of expertise that isn't available in Australia.

"If people want Qantas to be competitive and successful and continue to employ tens of thousands of Aussies, as we currently do, we need to be able to achieve the greatest possible flexibility in all areas of business, and IT is no exception," Willit said.

Founded in 1920, Qantas is the world's second oldest airline.

The Qantas Group employs approximately 31,000 staff across a network that serves 143 destinations in 36 countries - 57 in Australia and 86 in other countries.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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