Qantas automates aircraft loading process

Qantas has implemented an automated load-control system, which marks another step towards a new generation of IT systems for the airline industry.

Qantas has implemented an automated load-control system, which marks another step towards a new generation of IT systems for the airline industry.

The system is first component of a departure control module from Amadeus and follows modules for reservation and inventory management.

Qantas chief information officer, John Willet, said the new loading system receives data directly from the airline's load planning, freight, fuelling and airport information systems, eliminating manual processes.

"The autoload function ensures items to be loaded on to the aircraft are allocated positions to optimise fuel efficiency and streamline loading and unloading," said Willet.

The business benefit of the system is in the increased productivity of staff and greater efficiency through automation and process optimisation.

"Qantas has proved to be an extremely valuable partner in developing requirements and testing one of the industry's most advanced technology platforms," said David Jones, Amadeus commercial executive vice-president.

Every airline in the world is looking for new passenger services systems based on new technology that is more reliable and better able to handle modern data volumes than current systems based on legacy technology.

"It is time to move on from systems that have been updated and improved in the past 30 years to 40 years, but still rely on legacy technology with all its inherent limitations," said Jones.

A shift to new technology is also being prompted by business decisions to move away from proprietary IT systems that are difficult and expensive to maintain.

"We foresee a shift in the buy-make boundary away from in-house systems to common and standard systems delivered using an ASP model on a Linux platform," said Jones.

The next element of Amadeus' departure-control system is a customer management module for check-in, boarding and baggage management, which is expected to be introduced by Qantas in mid 2008.

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