Travel, transportation and logistics technology firm IBS Software has signed up SunExpress for its iFlyRes passenger service system (PSS), which it claims is the first PSS on the market to natively support IATA's NDC.
SunExpress is a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa Group, carrying some 9 million passengers a year. Its managing director Jaan Albrecht said that the airline had spent between 18 and 24 months looking at options before deciding on IBS.
"We needed a PSS which would take us into the next decade," he explained. "We are a leisure carrier but we've a complex business model which the PSS needs to support - we do seat-only and full and part-charters with tour operators. We've got two systems at the moment - one for seat-only, one for tour operators, and they don't talk to each other. IBS will give us one seamlesss system to work across all our business lines."
Currently around 60% of its business is seat-only with the balance coming from sales to tour operators. Albrecht admitted that, for a business with such a large direct business, its ancillary revenues are "basically, non-existent."
The NDC compatibility of iFly Res will help to address this gap in the revenue mix. "We're not planning on reinventing the wheel, but we do have a creative team looking at how to approach ancillaries. We think that NDC is a state-of-the-art technology which will help us professionalise our approach generally, while keeping our low cost structures in place."
iFly Res will handle SunExpress' reservations, ticketing, and departure control operations.
For IBS, the SunExpress deal is the first to be announced since Blackstone invested $170 million in the business late last year.
IBS executive chairman VK Mathews noted that IBS would continue to invest heavily in its i Fly Res product as a result of the Blackstone interest. "Our growth strategy is twofold - we will be fulfilling our current research and development commitments, such as a next generation platform for flight and crew operations, and we are also looking at acquisitions which are synergistic with our existing businesses."
The i Fly suite of products is around half of the IBS business and its target market, for now, is low-cost carriers and hybrid airlines - those which like to pick and mix elements from low-cost and full-service. Hybrids are more amenable to codeshares and interlining than the low-cost purists, and these options were of interest to Sun Express, according to Albrecht.
IBS has tech products for a variety of verticals, including a loyalty management solution which Mathews said it was also talking to SunExpress about.
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