mercator’s Avantik fuel Jet Asia’s expansion plans

BANGKOK – 03 September 2013 - mercator Asia will now be providing its leading passenger services system Avantik to Jet Asia Airways. Based out of the Thai capital’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Jet Asia Airways specialises in scheduled and charter flights to Japan, South Korea and China.

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Moving away from the traditional charter model with the introduction of scheduled services, Jet Asia is outgrowing its current passenger services system and opting for a more flexible, web-based booking engine, with access to numerous sales distribution channels.

mercator Asia, which is based in Bangkok, will assist Jet Asia with its sales and distribution channels, enabling its customers to save time and book online. Flexible technology will not only support the airline in its existing daily operations, such as customer check-in and departure control, but also its future operations as it seeks to expand its network.

“Our dedicated team has a deep understanding of the challenges facing airlines as they expand and grow. Our technologies are designed to provide support as their operations continue to scale in size. Jet Asia Airways joins our fast growing family of Thai carriers using Avantik,” said Roland Heller, Chief Executive Officer, mercator Asia.

“Jet Asia aspires to add new destinations as part of our plan to grow, especially with the increasing demand for regional travel in the Asian market,” said Jacob Saba, President Jet Asia Airways.

“mercator’s worldwide reputation as a premier provider of passenger services and its strategic proximity with offices in Bangkok will enable us to realise our objectives and provide our passengers with an overall better experience.”

mercator implements Avantik in 29 days

Antrak Air and Alsie Express are now operating their reservations and sales distribution through mercator’s Avantik

DUBAI, U.A.E., and BANGKOK, THAILAND 31 July 2013 – Avantik, mercator’s reservation and sales distribution system for regional airlines and low cost carriers, has gone live with two key carriers, Antrak Air in Ghana and Alsie Express in Denmark in record time as mercator reduced the implementations time by 25%. Alsie Express took just 29 days to reach Go-Live after project kick-off.
Avantik’s integrated platform of passenger services will help both airlines to manage web-enabled reservation sales and inventory operations for internet, call center, sales office and airport departure and control functionality whilst benefiting from yield management tools, revenue accounting and planning applications.

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“Antrak Air has a business growing strategy that requires a scalable system. Increasing our passenger bookings and sales while reducing cost and saving time for our customers is of utmost priority which is why we selected Avantik .” said Conrad Clifford, Antrak Air Director.
“The mercator team has gone above and beyond to make this cutover possible and we are thankful and delighted to partner with such a dedicated supplier.” He added.
Avantik will not only offer the airlines a unified architecture, open connectivity with IATA, a flexible way of handling passenger sales to but also an efficient, market-oriented system to reduce cost and complexity.

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“The key factor of any successful airline lies in its dynamic technical support, where time and quality are utilized in the most efficient manner. With such a partner, we look forward to increasing our frequencies and fleet while improving our customers’ overall experience.” said Alsie Express CFO, Henning Taestensen in a recent interview after going live with Avantik.

“We are proud to welcome two new players in Africa and Europe, to our growing customer base. We understand who our customers are and how we can help them stay one step ahead. With a highly competitive functionality and flexible product, we enable our partners to modernise their distribution infrastructure and improve the efficiency of their resources and their business processes.” said Roland Heller, CEO of mercator Asia.

Strong sales performance for mercator’s PSS solution, Avantik

mercator’s leading PSS solution for low cost & regional carriers, Avantik, has recently experienced great success which further strengthens the mercator & the Avantik brand as well as the global reach of the mercator Asia office in Bangkok.

Q4 2012 saw Algerian based carrier, Tassilli Airlines, and Thailand based start-up, U-Airlines both sign with Mercator for Avantik.  Tassilli made their maiden flight with Avantik and opened their sales channels on 2nd March 2013.

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3 carriers signed up with Avantik in Q1 2013 including FlyGeorgia in Eastern Europe, Antrak from Ghana and a regional hybrid carrier, who wish to remain anonymous at this stage  All carriers are scheduled to commence operations with Avantik within the first half of 2013.

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These carriers join the family of 23 airlines from around the world who enjoy the benefits of the Avantik PSS web-based platform.  Amongst these airlines are the Osaka based LCC, Peach, and Indonesia’s ever strengthening regional carrier, Merpati.

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In a recent interview with Mr Rudy Setyopurnomo, Merpati CEO, he quoted “Merpati Nusantara Airlines has been a partner with mercator since October, 2008 and we use Avantik for passenger reservations & DCS.  When I joined Merpati as CEO in May, 2012 my first task was to look at whether MNA was harnessing the full potential of Avantik.  Within 2 months, and through a structured approach in assessing user competence on the system, our revenues increased significantly.  Avantik’s fully integrated and optimised web services have allowed us to maximise our web sales, especially in the last year, which have significantly helped increase our passenger bookings and we are also see huge benefits in our utilisation of the auto top up for travel agencies feature.  Through the power and functionality of Avantik, Merpati is on course and set to become a leading regional carrier and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Avantik and mercator.”

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mercator’s extensive portfolio offers end-to-end passenger, cargo, financial, loyalty & safety solutions to large and established flag carriers to smaller regional carriers.  Avantik is a next generation, cost-effective PSS solution which is primarily targeted towards small to medium sized low cost, regional and start-up airlines.  Avantik is built on flexible web-services making it a good fit for low cost carriers, especially start-ups where initial software investment considerations are sometimes prohibitive.  Simple API connections mean that Avantik can be easily integrated with 3rd party platforms to help airlines quickly realize their potential in ancillary revenues.

Airlines and software vendors alike strive to find innovative ways to capitalize on ancillary revenues

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Ancillary revenues are an extremely important financial component for low-cost carriers (LCCs).  According to the IdeaWorksCompany*, ancillary revenues reached $36.1 billion worldwide in 2012 which amounts to 5.4% of the global airline revenue of $ 667 billion.

In a turbulent market where many airlines struggle to survive the onslaught of rising fuel prices and the economic downturn, ancillary revenues are a lifeline for many low cost carriers to maintain their competitive advantage by offering more than just their base product and low-cost fares.

In September 2012, CAPA revealed that the global average margin for an airline is 1.6%** (North America 3.0%, Europe -0.1%, Asia Pacific 1.9%, Middle East 2.5%, Latin America 2.7% and Africa 0.7%) so it’s important that airlines maximize their revenue potential.  With an average spend per passenger of 21 Euros to personalize the passenger experience on top of the base product, the top 10 LCC Ancillary Champions** are capitalizing on this and managing to achieve 20% of their entire revenue from ancillary services.  These champions are constantly striving to find pioneering ways to maximize such profits in areas such as:

-         Call center reservation fees

-         Baggage check-in and excess baggage fees

-         Seat selection fees

-         Special meal requests

-         Insurance sales

-         On board Wi-Fi

-         Priority Screening and Boarding

-         Commission from Hotel Bookings

-         Frequent flyer programs

-         Co-branded credit cards

-         On board entertainment packages

-         Commission for car hire

-         Restaurant advertising

-         Voucher redemption

Innovative partnerships with 3rd party providers are another channel that airlines are exploiting to maximize their ancillary revenues and it’s not just the airlines!  Software vendors are also establishing similar partnerships to meet the ever changing demands of their customers in the aviation sector.  Bespoke API connections and flexible web-services, especially for vendors in the IBE and PSS space, are essential to a memorable passenger booking experience.  Passengers want a “one-stop-shop” so that they have the options to not only, and easily, book their flights and view their itineraries but also purchase insurance, book their hire car, make their hotel booking, book their theatre tickets etc.

Mercator’s low cost PSS solution for LCCs and regional carriers, Avantik, does exactly that.  Through the latest Windows technology and numerous API connections, Avantik customers can quickly, easily and very cheaply connect to insurance providers, GDS’, 3rd party payment gateways, ATMs, kiosk check-in terminals, mobile applications, social media and OTAs.  Amongst many of the strategic 3rd party partnerships, mercator have partnered with ACE Insurance, one of the world’s largest insurance providers.  Besides, improving the Avantik offering to airlines to be able to improve their ancillary revenues, the partnership with ACE removes the associated technical costs for such an implementation away from the airline.  Avantik customers can easily sign a commercial agreement directly with ACE and the ACE insurance feature can simply be switched on.

* Source: Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue Results © IdeaWorksCompany.com LLC

** Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation & IATA Financial Forecasts from Sep-2011, Dec-2011, Mar-2012, Jun-2012 and Sep-2012 sourcing ICAO and IATA data

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