Archive for July 3rd, 2007

LH technology news

I saw an interesting article this morning on ATW Online. The article says LH puts its ACAP project on back shelf. The reason is claimed to be: “But the alliance said recent changes in the distribution landscape have delayed the implementation process of alternative distribution solutions”.

I’ll write down my opinion now, but I will ask Balint about his opinion, too. The reason why we will be happy to comment on this is that I have worked for LH Systems in a project related to LH’s migration to Amadeus and Balint still works for a company that participates as a supplier in this “Future Airline Core Environment” (a.k.a. FACE) mentioned in the article.

So again the following is strictly my own opinion and I hope I will not hurt any interests with it. As I saw it when I worked for LH Systems, there are quite many projects running for LH at the same time. The core project is migration of LH to Amadeus GDS. Earlier LH used a GDS developed and maintained by LH Systems and most of the Star Alliance (SA) carriers were kind of forced to use it as well. LH then realized the business opportunity in using the same GDS as most of the travel agencies use. And this GDS in Europe was definately Amadeus – also used by most carriers of the other 2 big aliances. Therefore they decided on migrating to Amadeus. Then instead of “forcing” the alliance members to migrate to Amadeus, too, they chose a very complicated way to go. They started 2 projects: ACAP and AirCore besides their own supporting projects that aim to migrate all business functions attached to a GDS to be able to run on Amadeus (mainly revenue integrity projects). ACAP aims to create a middleware that talks to both Amadeus and the old LH reservation system and would be later able to talk to any other GDSs, while AirCore is to communicate with this middleware and provide a full function web based GUI for any reservation agent: airline agents, travel agents. This way no GDS migration is needed – which is quite a huge and risky projects for any airline – the only step that needs to be taken by the airline is to buy, learn and use this so called Front Sales application that talks to their own GDSs through AirCore. It is much more simple for the user airlines, but it’s a giant project hardly managable by any travel IT supplier. The other problem I can see is that most people at LH Systems have never worked for any airlines and those who have some airline knowledge only worked for LH and never saw processes of other airlines. And we can admit, LH’s processes almost always differ from other airlines’ standards. Sometimes they even differ from IATA standards.  This way the whole project has become very complicated and unlikely to succeed.

I hope Balint can correct me or tell us more about it.

 By Szafi

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