Aviation

New network scheduling solutions from Amadeus and Optym could see airlines unlock millions of dollars

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MADRID and GAINESVILLE, FLA. – Airline flight network planners have a tough job. They are responsible for creating flight schedules that consider crews, aircraft, gates, competition, potential disruption and customer demand in a way that maximizes profitability and is operationally feasible. Building such a schedule is a challenging and time consuming prospect for any airline network planner.

But when airlines succeed in optimizing their flight schedule relative to their full potential, they can unlock an additional 1 to 3 percent of their current revenues – that amounts to millions of dollars for most airlines. Amadeus and Optym announce a new long-term partnership to solve that challenge, in a way that was previously believed impossible.

Optym and Amadeus’ new suite of network planning solutions is based on sophisticated algorithms that give airlines a fully optimized schedule based on accurate forecasts in just a few hours, not days or weeks. This is the only technology on the market that can build a schedule from a “clean sheet”. This means that the solution can create a schedule from scratch – without a previous schedule to work with – thus giving the airline more strategic flexibility and opening new scheduling opportunities that may have previously gone undiscovered.

Optym, which is based in Gainesville, Florida, was founded by Dr. Ravi Ahuja, a former professor at the University of Florida in the field of optimization and mathematical modeling.

“This partnership is a great fit – each party brings complementary strengths, combining our world-class mathematics and proprietary optimization know-how with Amadeus’ airline experience, size, global reach and technical sophistication,” said Dr. Ahuja, President and CEO of Optym. “We think airline network planning is ready for some new, innovative thinking and we are excited about helping airlines unlock more value from their schedule.”

Optym works in other industries, including rail and mining, but Amadeus is exclusively investing in the development of their airline solutions. The partnership has Amadeus contributing its vast knowledge of the airline business and financial support to develop the solutions that have not yet been brought to market. In addition, Amadeus will use its global network to accelerate Optym’s growth plans and sell the solutions worldwide.  

Julia Sattel, Global Head of Airline IT at Amadeus added, “We want our technology to help airlines succeed in this increasingly competitive market, and that’s why we see network planning and scheduling as a very important area for airlines and their customers. The Optym network planning and scheduling solution is already the best one in the market, and with our help we think it will become truly game-changing.”

This suite of network planning solutions are offered as the Amadeus SKY suite by Optym. This suite includes two solutions which are already available in the market today: Amadeus SkyMAX by Optym providing schedule optimization, and Amadeus SkySYM by Optym providing schedule reliability simulation. The next three solutions in the suite will deliver schedule forecasting (Amadeus SkyCAST by Optym), schedule management (Amadeus SkyWORKS by Optym), and route frequency optimization (Amadeus SkyPLAN by Optym). 

Amadeus maintains strong financial performance in first nine months of 2016
Amadeus IT Group, S.A. reported an adjusted profit of 738.1 million euros in the nine months to September 30, 2016. That represented a growth of 21.3% compared to the same period of 2015. This was driven by a revenue increase of 14.2%, to 3,386.5 million euros, and EBITDA growth of 16.4%, to 1,332.1 million euros. Free cash-flow generation grew by 18.2% in the first three quarters of the year, with the debt ratio at 1.21x EBITDA.

Luis Maroto, President & CEO of Amadeus, commented: “Our strong financial performance is the result of organic growth in our core businesses and the contribution of last year’s acquisitions including Navitaire.

“Our Distribution business continues to grow faster than the industry and its competitive position once again increased to 43.1%.  We have successfully renewed or signed content agreements with 17 airlines in the quarter, including easyJet. In addition, the world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK, has implemented Amadeus Master Pricer with Instant Search technology.

“The Airline IT business has also experienced strong growth in the first nine months of 2016, supported by upselling and cross-selling, as well as organic growth.  The total number of passengers boarded using Amadeus’ Passenger Service Systems (Altea or Navitaire New Skies) increased by 82.9%, to 1,028.5 million. Compared to the same period last year, excluding Navitaire, Altea passengers boarded grew 12.1%.

“In the third quarter, Malaysia Airlines announced that it had selected the full Amadeus Altea Passenger Service System, Amadeus Anytime Merchandizing as well as our e-commerce solutions. In addition, EVA Air moved to Amadeus Altea Revenue Management Suite, while Virgin Australia announced that it had become part of the Altea DC Flight Management family.

“We continue to make progress in our new businesses. We completed the successful implementation of Amadeus Airport Sequence Manager and A-CDM Portal solutions in Copenhagen Airports.  We are also advancing in the execution of our Hospitality IT strategy, by integrating Itesso and Hotel SystemsPro and by working with InterContinental Hotels Group in the development of a new-generation Guest Reservation System for the hospitality industry.

“We are confident that Amadeus will deliver another strong final quarter to 2016.”

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