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Customer Success evolves at Datalex

Earlier this month I attended a 2-day Customer Success conference – “Pulse Europe”. I had participated in the inaugural European conference in 2015 and found it to be very informative on the evolving industry and how I could further enhance the Datalex approach to Customer success. Customer Success is reshaping the business landscape globally. It …

Can airlines keep up with digital pace?

This is a post first published in Airlines International, 20 December 2016.  Digitalization is forcing a paradigm shift in business models. But can airlines move quickly enough? Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, has already made clear his focus on improving the industry’s speed of innovation. “I value speed,” he says. “Our world is …

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Addressing the Customer Disconnect with Connected Commerce

Never have airlines been so preoccupied – and measured – on the basis of their operational efficiencies. Financial savings or the prospect of operational and regulatory penalties have meant that they have become infinitely smarter as they constantly strive for a seamless, efficient operation. The obsession with saving fractions of gallons of fuel or seconds …

Shaping the future digital travel landscape

Earlier this year, Datalex ran an innovation workshop at the Airline Information Airline Merchandising Conference in Barcelona. Groups of delegates were invited to consider and discuss the future of three digital travel perspectives.

Philippine Airlines leads with Datalex Digital Commerce

Philippine Airlines has reselected Datalex as its digital commerce technology partner for the next five years. The partnership will support Philippine Airlines’ digital strategy to drive competitive consumer and corporate offers across all sales channels. Datalex has partnered with Philippine Airlines for over nine years to deliver differentiated and competitive e-commerce offerings to leisure and …

Digital Commerce has come of age

Digital commerce is how business gets done. The old tropes, what we once called ecommerce or online, and even stalwarts such as the “internet booking engine” indicate legacy thinking; the channel to the consumer is digitally enabled, the consumer is always connected.

Datalex: Accessibility for all

Working with the National Council for Blind in Ireland and accessibility expert Joshue O Connor at InterAccess, here at Datalex we have been busy enhancing our accessibility offering. As the December website accessibility compliance deadline approaches many airlines are still asking what it means and how they will be impacted. As procurers of accessible technologies, …

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Airlines Are A Cloud

Streaming video, digital merchandizing and in-flight Wi-Fi. As technology marches on, airlines are being expected not just to connect the world but also to keep their travelers linked to the world. And it’s not just the airplanes themselves, all the other airline public touch points are now almost all electronic systems that interact with a wide …

X3-fold increase in online sales for Air China

An Air China online sales promotion delivered their highest daily sales record ever. The Datalex Promotions component provided the capability to dynamically configure and deploy promotions for domestic and international itineraries. Air China leverages the pricing, shopping, and merchandising and reservation management features of the Datalex Commerce Platform to deliver optimised offers to domestic and …

A challenging landscape for LCCs in China

West Air and China United Airlines officially announced on 29th March 2015 their transformation into low cost carriers (LCC). This results in a total of six LCCs in China, since direction was given by CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) in December 2013 to encourage the growth of LCCs in the country. These include Spring …

Travel suppliers as buyers

I often field questions and comments from friends and family about my job and what it’s like working for a global company engaged in helping airlines and travel providers alike. And as Head of Airline Retail for Datalex, I do have incredible opportunities to travel, as well as to experience first-hand what our software can do, …

No Waitlists Permitted

Travel retailers should consider not only their social media footprint when bringing these new travelers onboard, but they should also focus on redefining the now.

NDC: The paradigm must succeed, and why

NDC: the new distribution capability. The oft discussed and rarely understood new trend in airline distribution promises to present significant changes to how airlines address direct distribution. Much has been made of the issues of privacy, disintermediation, cartels, agendas, etc. After all, the airline distribution discussion has been a circular affair, with great leaps in distribution capabilities aligned with …

Make me an offer!

Most other retailers know they can easily increase profits by making an additional offer above the original purchase, which closely matches what a customer wants at any given moment. Airlines have made big moves, with some great success, to act more like retailers in recent years. But there is still a lot to be done. …

It’s not just a seat!

A view from Datalex’s commercial director in Latin America. IATA recently advised that ancillary revenues are a key driver of improved financial performance and that worldwide ancillary revenues have risen to an estimated $13 per passenger. They continue to add that without ancillaries, the industry would be making a loss from its core seat and …

Datalex recognised at World Travel Awards with industry elite

Among an audience of travel industry elite and leading travel suppliers, Datalex was named the World’s Leading Travel Merchandising Solution Provider and World’s Leading Travel Distribution Solution Provider at the recent World Travel Awards 2013 gala event. The grand final gala ceremony took place in Doha, Qatar, and followed a number of competitive regional events …

Do you have Peppermint Tea?

The answer is usually no, as most airlines only serve standard tea and coffee. These days I only drink Peppermint Tea, so I have to do without a cup of tea on most flights. As I sat on a plane recently and watched the duty free trolley pass me and everyone else by, without selling …

2013 IATA World Passenger Symposium: Welcome to Dublin

Céad Míle Fáilte (A hundred thousand welcomes) to Dublin, our global headquarters. We are proud to sponsor the 2013 IATA World Passenger Symposium and look forward to meeting you at the event. We’re also looking forward to presenting an NDC pilot in cooperation with HP, PROS and Swiss Airlines International. At last, proven providers collaborate …

Debating the Customer Experience – WLCA Congress 2013

The World Low Cost Airlines Congress held at the Sofitel LHR from the 16th  to 18 th  September was a mix of leading global carriers, traditional airlines with short haul subsidiaries and low cost airlines in the same room looking to understand what common features they could utilise from each model to make for a …

BlueSky Blog Interview: Datalex SVP Sales Dominic Clarke

We spoke to Dominic Clarke, SVP Sales for Datalex and he answered some of our burning questions about the airline industry and passenger experience. Dominic’s background is primarily airline, with 10 years at British Airways followed by 8 years working for technology providers to airlines. That included working in the internet booking engine space, PSS, …

The Divergence of Revenue Management

 The sophisticated practice of revenue management remains a key function within any airline organization. Revenue managers have applied data science to ‘big data’ to forecast demand and optimize price since the 1980s. However, over the past decade a dichotomy has presented itself between current revenue management techniques and merchandizing practices such as fare families and …

The Airline Strategy Awards

At the very venerable and swanky Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inns in London on Sunday evening, Etihad chief executive James Hogan was undoubtedly baring that expansive smile he’s well known for. The Australia-born airline boss won the Executive Leadership Award for his “outstanding strategic thinking and leadership”. The gala dinner was attended by hundreds of …

Is this the end of Air Shopping?

For those of you who attended the Datalex conference, you had the unique opportunity to preview how Datalex, together with PROS, intends to change the world of air shopping and retailing. And during the conference, the question was raised “Is this the end of air shopping?” I have heard on multiple occasions how airlines wish they …

A Blog from the Datalex Travel Retail Conference

The first thing I learnt on day one of my first sales job; know your product and know your customer. Do you know me? I’m not a channel and I’m not 15c; I’m me. As you don’t know me, you don’t know that I only drink peppermint tea and that’s why you never have it …

NDC wags the long tail

This week marked the 13th annual OpenTravel Advisory forum, for more see www.opentravel.com OpenTravel is the defacto specification for travel interoperability. Its adoption is ubiquitous, and the specification has accelerated the evolution of travel distribution. OpenTravel constituents represent a diverse mix of airline, car and hotel groups along with the more kinetic long tail entities …

CAPA Airlines in Transition

Datalex was proud to sponsor the CAPA Airlines in Transition Conference in Dublin last week. Lots of lively debate from airline CEOs on regulation, revenue, cost models and competition. Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG in typical frank manner, swept away the excuses: unions, business models etc, and noted management need to be determined to succeed, manage costs and ensure …

AACO IT Business Forum 2013

Great content and discussion again at the recent IT Business Forum of AACO, held in Muscat. Quality organisation from AACO on agenda and venue. The landscape in the Middle East is rapidly changing with the advances of Air Arabia, NAS Air, and FlyDubai. AACO members are fully focused on enhancing merchandising, Big Data, and NDC. …

IATA NDC

This month’s Airline Business magazine reports on Datalex’s leadership in the airline industry’s retail transformation. At Datalex, we have abstracted from the constraints and restrictions of industry PSS systems to drive innovation. Moreover, we have driven innovation in merchandising where standards did not yet exist. Datalex has a unique pedigree in guiding standards for new …

Merchandising the Traveller Experience

Airlines are focused on transforming their retail strategies, with a view to boosting their bottom line while delivering improved service and value across the traveller experience. As part of this move, low margin air revenue is being supplemented with high margin ancillary sales. A larger product portfolio offered across an increasing number of channels and …

Even the retailing gurus don’t always get it right…

As I read a Sky News article recently by Emma Birchley entitled “Supermarkets ‘Using Dodgy Pricing Tactics’”, it was a mix of indignation and relief. Can it really be true, the friendly folks at my local supermarket are using “dodgy pricing tactics” and less than clear promotions, so that I actually pay more than I …

CAPA Airlines in Transition Conference – CEOs discuss alliance membership

Datalex recently sponsored the CAPA Airlines in Transition Conference in Istanbul. An airline CEO event, it covered a broad spectrum of ills and remedies affecting the industry. One of the more interesting insights was the general opinion, echoed by a number of CEOs, that membership of a global alliance did little to fuel innovation and …

A More Efficient PCI Compliance Process

There’s no question that data security is a significant risk in online retail. Given the threat posed to payment card users by these attacks, it is no surprise that the payment card industry has responded with the stringent data processing and storage requirements spelled out in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). …

Airlines think they are merchandising, but UATP conference speakers beg to differ

ATW Air Transport World By Michele McDonald, 4 April 2012 For several years, airlines have yearned to adopt “merchandising,” a term that is applied indiscriminately to everything from fare families to checked-bag fees. Depending on who is doing the talking, they are held back by their own systems, which don’t easily accommodate innovations in how …

China Airline Ancillary Revenue Summit 2012

I attended the China Airline Ancillary Revenue Summit in Shanghai last week. There was a continued focus by all airlines on growing revenues, with the likes of Spring Airlines reshaping traditional full service offerings. Their unbundled set of products is supporting their aggressive seat pricing (where government controls don’t interject). External international routes provide good …

Airline Revenue Strategies at UATP Airline Distribution 2012

Great panel debate at the UATP Airline Distribution 2012 Conference in Madrid today. The topic was airline revenue strategies. Joining me on the panel were Montie Brewer, Jim Davidson (Farelogix), Matt Arthur (ENett) and Richard Cushing (Guestlogix). Some key takeaways: Ancillary does not equal merchandising. The opportunity is the entire travel experience and all touch …

Google looking to make big impact on airline distribution

Airline Business, February 2012 Read the full article here. Within five months of the ITA Software deal closing in April 2011, Google launched Google Flight Search (GFS) in the USA. GFS, which despite being live is officially still in testing, searches inventory and fares from airline websites, giving users a direct link to the airline’s …

Distribution – Sum of the Parts

Airlines International, IATA, February-March 2012 “The consumer’s expectations change at an ever-increasing pace, driven by the internet, mobile, social media, and the choice available across always connected channels,” says Cormac Whelan, CEO of Datalex. “This means that if an airline wants to effectively retail, merchandise, and differentiate their product to their customers, they must do …

Understanding Airline Pricing

Airline pricing is an oft discussed and little understood thing. The goal of airline pricing is, for most, to drive the maximum yield for any given seat based on current market conditions. This of course is a highly complex process that necessitates down to the wire inventory knowledge, demand forecasts and hutzpah on the part …

Travel Companies Missing Ancillary Opportunities at Point of Customer Purchase

Guest Post: Al Lenza, CEO of Lenza Group LLC. Despite critics’ best efforts to demonize the travel industry’s continued expanded offerings of optional services, their sustainability not only seems assured, but we are in fact only in the embryonic phase. This is based on 2 important, fairly basic factors. First, airlines, car rental companies, cruise …

Alliance Personalisation

The recent launch of RoomKey (Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group), set me thinking that this would be a great idea for airlines; like-minded businesses coming together to control distribution costs and direct traffic through to their existing branded websites. Hold on a minute! …

The LCC experiment in a longhaul market

The never ending debate continues as to whether the LCC model would export itself into longhaul. Seemed like it was only a question of time before the likes of Ryanair and Air Asia would throw down the gauntlet to the legacy dinos. It was Air Asia, not surprisingly, which took the bold move. “Yeah so …

What the hell is the social graph?

Whilst attending Travel Technology Europe 2012 yesterday I sat in a Tnooz session: “What the hell is the social graph?” – great panel and discussion. There’s always Wikipedia for answers, but Matt Rhodes created a great visual representation of what the social graph is by getting the other panel members to stand up and link …

Want Personalization? Listen – Really Listen – to Customers

As consumers, we are accustomed to contextual, collaborative and intuitive conversations with retailers such as Amazon, Zappos or eBay feeding our demand for relevance in real time. We search and share conversations and experiences across our preferred social networks. We look to minimize dwell time in an always-connected world across an ever-increasing range of touch …

Merchandising in the Airline Industry – Towards a Retail Model

Download the full Travel Technology Research white paper at www.datalex.loc. The airline industry is in a period of profound change in its business processes. In this report we will examine the impact of the changes, which may be summarised as: Merchandising is a critical growth avenue for travel companies It will significantly transform the travel …

The Journey to Travel Retail

Airlines have done a heroic job over recent years in cutting costs and raising revenues, yet frustration abides with the current economics of distribution and the struggle for profitability. The evolving airline merchandising strategies seek to maximize profitability and champion a new future in travel retailing, which refines the customer engagement across all direct and …

OpenTravel Using Datalex Merchandizing Schema

The OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel), the travel industry’s leading distribution specification and standards development organization, has decided to address the challenge of airline product and service merchandizing using advanced XML technology. Datalex, a founding OpenTravel member, has a robust set of schema that OpenTravel will use as their standard. As a founding member of OpenTravel, Datalex will continue …

Datalex Customer Conference 2011 – BIG Ideas for Travel Retail

130 travel industry executives assembled in Dublin this week for a thought provoking, informed and passionate debate on the future of travel retail. Leading industry advisors as well as brand and retail experts from other industries joined with over 50 innovative and market leading airline and agency brands to provide the ingredients for the right …

IATA Resolution 302 – no news must be good news!

For the past 12 months there have been working groups, discussions, publications, webinars, blogs and software development (in some cases) with IATA and ATPCO working tirelessly to prepare everyone for the 1st April 2011; the demise of Resolution 300 & 301 making way for Resolution 302 and automated baggage. From the information available it’s clear …

Automated Baggage Rules – a milestone for the travel industry

IATA resolution 302 for baggage automation took effect today – a momentous milestone for the travel industry. Datalex was ready – its Automated Baggage Rules (ABR) was already live and in production. The Datalex Travel Distribution Platform (TDP) has enabled customers to load and manage flight related ancillary services including seat, meal and bag policies …

Datalex at CILA

Datalex has confirmed its participation at CILA (Latin Airline Profitability Conference) This is the Spanish-language annual commercial event for Latin American airline decision-markers covering hot revenue enhancing trends for airlines, including: Ancillary Revenue; Social Media; Frequent Flyer Programs; Onboard Sales; Airline Merchandising; Fraud Prevention; Alternative Forms of Payment; Distribution Costs; and other means of Revenue …

OpenTravel Kicks Off Air Merchandising Project

The OpenTravel Alliance has just launched its air merchandising project which will create new XML messages/enhance existing messages to support merchandising functionality for airlines and their distribution partners. Datalex has confirmed its participation in the project. As a founding member of the OpenTravel Alliance, Datalex will work with OpenTravel and its other members to provide …

Media Summaries on AA and ‘Sabre Holdings’ Dismantling of Status-Quo

There has been some refreshingly simple and entertaining summaries on the supply chain battle initiated by AA and Sabre Holdings. Tim Smith put it brilliantly in his article   http://www.wiglafjournal.com/pricing/2011/02/american-airlines-vs-sabre-holdings-destruction-or-creation-of-airline-traveler-value/ noting ” travelers need intermediaries that go beyond the role of clerks that ring-up transactions, rather travelers need intermediaries that take on the mantel of salesman …

Yet another airline launches ‘Inspire Shopper’ for intuitive and contextual shopping and promotions!

Philippine Airlines was the latest Datalex customer to launch the ‘TDP Inspire Shopper’ feature. Intuitive and contextual shopping and promotions based on consumer input whether origin/destination, budget, days to departure, travel themes or more! With zero shopping cost, our customer can now creatively drive promotion campaigns with speed, accuracy and always-available fares! Ornagh Hoban, VP …

Inspiring Travel Retail

Datalex’s ‘Inspire Shopper’ is up and running at South African Airways. A feature of TDP Retailer, Inspire Shopper has already been a hit with www.flysaa.com customers since its launch. According to SAA CIO Mike Re: “Customer reaction has been great; they really appreciate spending less time searching for the offer advertised. The intuitive contextual search features …

Co-celebrating a 25th Anniversary

Co-celebrating its 25th anniversary with Airline Business in 2010, Datalex CEO Cormac Whelan shares thoughts on how the industry has changed – for better or worse – and how it must change in the next 25 years. In many respects the same fundamental challenges and issues exist today for travel distribution as they did 25 …