Thursday, November 12, 2009

MAS sees gains from new booking system

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) expects to gain RM2bil in revenue and cost savings over 10 years after implementing a new reservations system called SITA, said managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin.

The new reservations system, which is barely two weeks old, will also result in the launch of a new mobile booking platform next month, according to Azmil.
From left: MAS GM of transition management Salleh Tabrani (partially hidden), MD/CEO Tengku Azmil Zahruddin and SITA senior VP – sales & relationship management, Richard Stokes.
“This is a significant milestone for MAS and it opens up a future of great commercial possibilities through the use of SITA’s Horizon portfolio. It is the critical piece in the jigsaw puzzle we have been assembling with SITA over the last three years,’’ Azmil told reporters at a press conference in Subang yesterday.
“We are going to be one of the first few airlines to offer air travel bookings via mobile phones. It is providing a convenience and we hope more people will be (attracted) to book with us with this new mobile facility,’’ he said, referring to the upcoming mobile booking service.
The national carrier decided in 2006 to spend RM480mil, over a 10-year period, to upgrade its passenger service system, with MAS now enjoying the cost efficiencies the new booking system brings.
The early adoption and migration to the latest technology has seen MAS benefiting from a rise in online bookings from 4% initially to 30% now. Its unit, MAS Wings, makes 45% of its sales from online bookings.
The shift from the outdated Kommas reservation system began at the end of last month where the records of 1.5 million passengers were transferred to the new SITA system.
MAS has trained over 3,000 reservations and ticketing staff worldwide to handle the new system.
The national airline also offers interlining with 100 partners, including United Airlines, its latest partner.
The new booking system allows for more than just making air ticket reservations, with the upcoming mobile booking platform allowing travellers to do mobile bookings, check-in and check the flight status and even the flight timetable using their mobile phones.
MAS will not charge more for the mobile service and consumers need only pay the normal data rates charged by their respective mobile service providers. The new booking system has resulted in greater reliability, with the national carrier also looking to enhance its call centres, according to Azmil.

Source : STAR
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