SITA's Horizon ushers in fares revolution

Published June 28th, 2010 - 11:20 GMT

SITA, the leading non-GDS provider of passenger management systems, briefed the airline industry on its progress towards delivering its next-generation Horizon passenger management system in partnership with software giant Oracle.  This included announcements on transformations in fares, operations and inventory, as it continues to migrate Horizon to open and agile systems.

SITA revealed that its new Horizon fares solution will allow airlines a choice of suppliers of complete fares distribution for the first time as it concludes testing with the Canadian Transportation Agency and US Department of Transportation in preparation for providing full compliance with fare filing regulations in North America.

SITA’s Total Fares Management integrates management and distribution solutions as a single service with a single cost from a single vendor, providing electronic distribution to industry pricing engines at the touch of a button.  No other single supplier can provide such an end-to-end process which enables airlines to be responsive, competitive and efficient with their airfares, while optimizing their yield on each seat sold.  

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, speaking at the Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, said: “SITA’s investment programme in Horizon is delivering results for our customers.  Our waves of innovation, such as Total Fares Management, are bringing radically enhanced reservations, fares, inventory, departure control and ticketing systems to an industry that has been restricted by legacy systems.

“Today, we can also confirm that the first release of our new Horizon Weight&Balance service will be implemented with lead customer, Czech Airlines. This entirely new system developed using Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) runs on an open systems platform which unlike legacy systems gives the ability to add enhancements and system modifications very quickly. What we are doing is not just about delivering state-of-the-art systems, it is about truly addressing industry requirements and meeting demands in the new decade.“

SITA’s new weight and balance load planning tool ensures more fuel-efficient flights. It allows cost-efficient centralized operations and includes a graphical user interface, drag and drop functionality, multi-airline/multi aircraft operation, flight summary and center of gravity charts. Together these reduce training time, give greater flexibility to load control agents and provide greater overall precision in load planning.

For years, airlines have been hampered by legacy passenger and fares management systems built before the advent of the Internet. But with continued investment and innovation and an ever-increasing number of airlines, including most recently Air India, Malaysia Airlines and Meridiana, adopting Horizon reservations or fares systems, SITA’s next-generation passenger management system is being viewed as the credible alternative for the industry.

With SITA’s fares technology airlines can now analyse competitive fares - published or on the web; decide on fares to place in the market, gain seamless and automated approval; file, distribute, validate and audit them, all from the same system. In addition, for the 10% of tickets that are reissued, SITA has automated the manual booking modification processes, cutting a 25-30 minute process to just a few minutes and ensuring accurate application of penalties and fare recalculation, resulting in major cost savings. 

The next Horizon release phase will target origin and destination inventory management, multi-channel payment services, mobile services, and enhanced ticketing, while major milestones will be accomplished in development of the system’s user interfaces as part of a programme that will continue to deliver on the complete migration to open systems by 2013.

More than 150 airlines now use passenger management solutions from SITA's Horizon portfolio which encompasses reservations, inventory pricing, ticketing, departure control, self-service booking and customer service technologies.

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