Local company punts airline IT

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Qualica Technologies is marketing SA-developed IT to African airlines.A local company is marketing SA-developed IT to African airlines in competition to global players such as the Airline IT Society, known by its French acronym SITA.

The company recently implemented a multimillion-rand departure control system (DCS) for low-cost carrier 1time at OR Tambo and Cape Town international airports.

Qualica Technologies MD David Rogers says a DCS system is a core mission critical system for airlines and “they tend to think long and hard before buying or even upgrading it” as a faulty implementation could put them out of business.

Rogers says the system has been certified by SITA, which dominates the global airline and airports IT market and has resulted in “Qualica attracting significant interest in its low-cost airline departure control platform from various airlines across Africa”.

The recent phasing-out of paper-based ticketing is boosting the need for IT in the airline industry, says Rogers. “We`ve made significant progress with a number of airlines, including some start-ups. There`s an appetite for travel despite sky-high fuel prices.

“The DCS will soon be augmented by a baggage management system (BMS), which complements the online booking platform developed by Qualica, and already in use by South African travellers,” he adds.

“The imminent release of the BMS will enable airlines to track movement of passengers` luggage, an ever-increasing necessity in an air travel system constantly growing in size and complexity.”

The DCS enables airlines to check in passengers electronically and create digital flight manifests. It also closes the loop in the booking process by identifying which passengers booked seats, but did not board their flights. This is vital knowledge in terms of air safety, Rogers says.

DCS also caters for self-service check-in that will allow travellers to book themselves onto planes without having to interact with airline check-in staff.

“Our existing online booking platform enables passengers to go to an airline`s Web site and book flights, a feature which has become the life blood of low-cost airlines. The platform also allows passengers who make same-day return trips with hand luggage only to check in on both the departing and returning flights online, and book their seats online in the process,” Rogers says.

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