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Airlines Need To Embrace IT System Modernization: Here’s Why

Aviation often feels like a very modern industry, but behind the scenes, the systems and software that power this industry can be very old-fashioned indeed. Keen to change this fact is Avtra, a specialist aviation and travel software provider. We spoke with the company’s Chief Technology Officer to find out why airlines need to embrace modernization in IT, and what’s stopping them.

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Although aviation moves on in leaps and bounds, legacy IT systems are often holding things back. Photo: Getty Images

Aviation’s legacy IT problem

From the outside looking in, aviation appears to be a pretty fast-paced environment. News is frequently breaking of new products, engine technology, manufacturing techniques and other developments that are making flying safer and more efficient. But behind the scenes, the industry moves very slowly.

One area in which aviation is getting critically out of date is in its use of software and IT. Some of the legacy systems in use today date back to the 1970s, which not only makes them less functional in today’s industry, but can also present a risk for data security. It seems that barely a month goes by without news of another cyber attack or data breach being suffered by an airline.

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A number of airlines and travel companies have suffered high-profile data breaches in recent years. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

But that’s not because alternatives don’t exist. Founded in 2018, Avtra has set out to try and untangle airlines and tourism from these old and clunky systems, providing innovative software solutions that have the potential to revolutionize the way things are done. And yet, there is still a resistance from the industry to truly embrace a more modern alternative.

Simple Flying caught up with Nasly Yoosuf, Avtra Co-founder and CTO, to find out why this reluctance exists, and what modernization of these legacy systems could mean for aviation.

What’s stopping them?

Avtra’s offer is straightforward enough. Its simple, all-in-one bundled solution has been specifically designed to meet the needs of modern airlines, regardless of their size or operating model. Solutions that include the Passenger Service System (PSS), Departure Control System (DCS), Frequent Flyer Program (FFP) and Online Travel Agent (OTA) platform allow companies to tailor the offering to their needs, and to support everything from revenue generation to airport operations management and more.

So why aren’t all airlines seeking to upgrade their software support, and to leverage the power of such carefully crafted alternatives? Yoosuf explained,

“Airlines are reluctant to move away from legacy systems due to the misconception that they provide greater stability based on the simple fact that they have been around for such a long time. We want to break down those stereotypes. Developments in technology have enabled the industry to transform their traditional processes and embrace change. However, legacy systems have remained resilient in the face of innovation.”

Airlines Need To Embrace IT System Modernization: Here’s Why
Avtra’s suite of products allows holistic airline management with simple connections to other web services. Photo: Avtra

Digging into it, the benefits of a modernized system are clear to see. These older systems are weighing the industry down; they’re complex, hard to use, difficult to adapt and, in many cases, wide open to security breaches. As airlines move to digital technology in other aspects of their business, attempting to integrate this with these legacy booking systems can, in the best of cases, be a challenge. In the worst of cases, everything simply breaks down.

How it could be

Aside from eliminating many of these downsides to maintaining old and outdated IT systems, there are significant benefits to be had from a timely upgrade. For a start, systems such as those offered by Avtra allow much deeper personalization than can be achieved with legacy systems. Airlines can do so far as to offer bespoke promotions to specific customers, enhancing their ability to generate ancillary revenue.

And that’s just the start. Avtra’s functionality allows interaction with passengers via multiple channels, from SMS to app notifications, letting airlines market themselves in better ways. Everything that happens comes back to the airline too, providing valuable insights and analysis for future marketing and sales campaigns.

If all airlines switched to Avtra’s suite of products today, what would be the result? Yoosuf was succinct on that point, saying,

“In short, we would have more profitable airlines, generating more revenue, with improved productivity and a whole lot more happy passengers flying.”

Airlines Need To Embrace IT System Modernization: Here’s Why
Deeper personalization, more revenue generation opportunities and happier customers are just some of the benefits an upgrade can produce. Photo: Avtra

That’s not to say that no airlines are switching to Avtra already. Indeed, multiple airlines have already got onboard with the modernization push, and the results are clear to be seen. Yoosuf concluded,

“With more and more airlines switching to Avtra, we not only help them save costs but also communicate with passengers in new ways to make their journey as seamless and secure as possible, especially today as we attempt to bring back confidence into air travel. In an era when customers want mobile access, personalisation, new forms of payment and loyalty payments, Avtra is ready to address their needs and is constantly analysing the market to produce up-to-date and modern solutions.”

The digital revolution is well underway, and it’s time aviation caught up. You can find out more about Avtra and its products on its website.

Post sponsored by Avtra

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