MyTravel IT issues contribute to losses


MyTravel IT issues contribute to losses

Daniel Thomas
The failure of holiday company MyTravel to align its business processes to new IT systems contributed to a record £911m pre-tax loss last year.

MyTravel told Computer Weekly that problems with business processes following the installation of a £15m Anite reservations system and an Oracle Financials accounting system meant that a sharp drop in gross margins went unnoticed.

The Anite Travel Tour Operator Package system, which went live at the end of 2001, consolidated MyTravel's three charter businesses - Airtours Holidays, Direct Holidays and Panorama/Manos - onto a single platform.

Last June, Duncan Wilson, the then chief executive officer for MyTravel in the UK and Ireland, said a single reservations system would help reduce costs by £20m.

However, when the legacy systems were switched off, data was lost and MyTravel stopped receiving information on margins. As a result, the firm sold holidays up to £60 less than they cost.

"The issue was not the systems, but how we used them," a MyTravel spokeswoman told Computer Weekly. "In moving to new off-the-shelf packages, we did not change our process of inputting data. As a result, we based our decisions on incorrect information."

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