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Sr. Vice President – Passenger Solutions
At the very outset, we at RTS wish each and every one of you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. As we get ready to embark on our objectives for 2018 with a new set of resolutions and goals, I want to spend a few moments to look back at 2017 – an extremely exciting year that just came to a hectic close. Last year saw significant activity in a number of areas – from welcoming new members to the RTS family to enhancing and building new solutions in both the passenger and cargo domains. You can learn more about our latest clients and some of the significant milestones in the Client Chronicles section. In the Product Happenings section, get insight into the details of some exciting product developments which include a powerful management tool on the passenger side – ‘Key Departure Monitor’ as well as the latest exciting addition to our solution portfolio on the Cargo side – ‘Foresight’. One of the highlights of every year happens to be the annual RTS Summit and the one for 2017 during the fourth quarter in one of the most charming destinations on the planet – Amsterdam, certainly did not disappoint and you can read more about it in the Scoop section.
We did not take our eyes off our marketing efforts and we are glad to announce that we will be participating at various industry conferences in both the passenger and cargo domains in early 2018, details of which are also included in the Scoop section. We are also aggressively looking to expand our client base and keeping in line with that effort, this section also includes information on RM and Scheduling workshops that we will be organizing at multiple locations around the globe. Last but not the least, Nishit Kumar – RTS Business Analyst sheds some light on one of the newly emerging concepts – Blockchain in the Guest Oracle section.
On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of clients this year and thank you for your wonderful hospitality. We at RTS are deeply grateful for all the feedback you provide on our people, processes and products and that is of invaluable help to us in our quest to continuously take our solutions as well as your client experience to the next level.
As I sign off, I sincerely hope all of you had a nice and relaxing time to end the year with family and friends and have your batteries energized to take on 2018. We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2018 and beyond.
We offer advanced software solutions and consulting services that drive growth and profitability by effectively planning your revenue budgets and setting your schedule. Our solutions enable you to get the maximum value out of every departure by optimally managing your flight capacities in terms of seats and cargo space considering origin-destination demand and different service products.
We provide industry leading solutions and services that help you to squeeze additional revenue and profit from your key resource – ships. Our solutions consider key aspects of cruise ferry customer behavior and ship characteristics to deliver the best results from tourists, cabins, and freight decks.
Optimally matching capacity and demand is a big challenge in the rail industry due to adjustable capacities and varying journey lengths. Our experts have developed models and algorithms to determine the optimal prices to sell seats to maximize the profit potential for the rail industry.
RTS plans to dazzle at its own backyard in 2018 IATA World Cargo Symposium
This year, the 2018 World Cargo Symposium will be held in RTS’ backyard, Dallas, Texas from March 13 – 15 and RTS has decided to be one of its principal sponsors. We plan to make our presence felt with an Executive breakfast event and booth sponsorship to network with the community. The conference is considered the premier event in the air cargo industry with over a thousand decision makers and experts from across the entire air cargo supply chain participating to exchange ideas and discuss solutions to the industry’s issues. Please feel free to stop by the RTS booth or look out for the ‘By Invitation Only’ breakfast event at the conference.
Routes Americas 2018 in Quito, Ecuador
RTS has signed up to be an executive sponsor at the Routes Americas 2018 conference from Feb 13th to the 15th in Quito, Ecuador. Pradeep Bandla, Senior Vice President of Passenger Solutions will be representing RTS at the conference. The event is the largest one of its kind in the Americas where network planning departments of airlines, airports and suppliers converge. The SchedOpt solution which has garnered interest at similar conferences in the past will be showcased at this event. If your airline is looking to get more insight into how our comprehensive Scheduling solution, which includes schedule optimization, schedule management and evaluation, can add value to your company, we strongly encourage you to reach out to Pradeep.Bandla@RTSCorp.Com and meet him at the conference.
RTS ‘Namaste’ at Air Cargo India
India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. India jumped 19 places and ranked 35 in 2016 as against 54 in 2014 in the latest Logistics Performance Index by World Bank. The Indian air cargo sector is poised to undergo significant growth in the coming years. For the past two years RTS has started to focus more in this region and as part of this initiative, we plan to make our presence felt at the Air Cargo India from Feb 20 – 22 in Mumbai, India. Our executives will be more than happy to set up meetings and network with your teams if you plan to attend the event.
2017 Summit Recap
‘Facing the Future – Together’ was the theme of our Annual RTS Summit and the summit indeed lived up to that message by showcasing upcoming challenges that threaten to disrupt the status quo in the travel and transportation sector and how RTS, in collaboration with our clients can proactively seek to address those challenges. The Summit was held at the scenic Movenpick Hotel in Amsterdam from the 3rd to the 5th of October 2017. As usual, the summit saw attendees from a diverse group of transportation domains including passenger and cargo delegates from both cruise-ferries and airlines. RTS sincerely thanks all those delegates who were able to attend and to those who unfortunately were unable to make it, we hope to see you at our summit next year. A variety of topics were covered at the summit including RTS plans to future proof our solutions, a preview of our latest addition to our solution portfolio – Foresight, some of the cutting edge concepts dominating the current landscape like Artificial Intelligence, to name a few. The key word in our summit theme though was the last one – ‘Together’ and discussions revolved around how RTS has continued to collaborate and partner with clients to face emerging challenges.
We are also deeply grateful to the tremendous support provided by our clients as they engaged in thought stimulating group discussions on addressing various challenges and giving RTS invaluable insights into how we could be more of a partner than a vendor with them. We are grateful to Fjord Line, United Airlines and Delta Airlines for client presentations as well being part of our panel discussions. The summit also had a product showcase during the networking break sessions where delegates could view the new features and solutions across the portfolio.
The presentations used during the summit have been posted on the RTS portal and shared with all the delegates. The event also provided a great opportunity for clients as well as prospects to learn, share, network and have fun at the same time. The voice of the client session this year gave RTS management amazing insight into client thoughts, concerns and compliments and we found the feedback invaluable.
The summit however was much more than just presentations and related discussions. We started off the summit with a cocktail reception at the hotel and the next day, delegates enjoyed a dinner cruise along the canals of Amsterdam that included a guided tour of some of the city’s most famous attractions.
Some of the images of the event are presented here for your viewing pleasure. More images can be found on the Revenue Technology Services page on Facebook.
RTS RM & Scheduling Workshops
RTS is pleased to announce that we will be conducting Revenue Management and Scheduling workshops on a periodic basis. These workshops are offered free of charge and are available to our current clients who would like to brush up their RM/Scheduling expertise as well as to prospective clients who would like to learn more about Revenue Management and Scheduling. These workshops are day long events and we encourage RM/Scheduling analysts and supervisors to participate in these workshops. Below are some of what participants can hope to gain from these workshops:
Insight into revenue, profit and productivity improvement opportunities
Understand the basic concepts of revenue management & scheduling
Learn the key drivers for revenue enhancement, cost reduction, optimal scheduling
Find out the latest tools available for demand management, schedule management
Gain insight into Key Performance Measures pertaining to RM/Scheduling
The first of these workshops is scheduled to be held in late March in Miami, USA. The second one is scheduled for late April in Mumbai, India. These workshops are targeted towards airlines and if you are interested in learning more about these, please don’t hesitate to contact RTS.Info@RTSCorp.Com.
Similar workshops for cruise ferry operators are planned in Europe during the summer and details will be publicized once the schedules have been finalized.
British Columbia Ferry Services signs up for ProfitOpt
RTS is extremely pleased to announce that British Columbia Ferry Services (BC Ferries) has signed up for the ProfitOpt Revenue Management solution in October 2017. BC Ferries went through a comprehensive evaluation of the various RM vendors in the industry during an extensive RFP process and made the decision to sign up with RTS. Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada , BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, providing year-round vehicle and passenger service to coastal and island communities with 25 routes , 47 terminals, and a fleet of 35 vessels. In 2017 BC Ferries carried more than 21.8 million passengers and 8.5 million vehicles. Implementation is currently underway with go-live of the initial phase of the project scheduled for Summer 2018. More information on BC Ferries can be found at https://www.bcferries.com/
Bahamasair goes live on ProfitOpt
RTS is excited to welcome Bahamasair to the RTS family! RTS started the implementation of the RTS ProfitOpt system in February 2017 and in October 2017, Bahamasair went live with the solution. Bahamasair is the national flag carrier of the Bahamas, with their corporate offices located near the Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas. Bahamasair operates a fleet of 737s and ATRs for scheduled and charter service to 32 domestic and regional destinations in the Caribbean and the United States. They recently added service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas. To learn more about Bahamasair visit them at https://www.bahamasair.com/.
We are happy to announce the launch of RTS Foresight, a revenue and sales planning solution for air cargo and cruise ferry freight industries.
Foresight is a state of the art decision support system that evaluates the cargo profitability of a given schedule and assists in the revenue planning process. The solution recommends sales targets based on previous year’s targets as well as expected demand that has been allocated to the available cargo capacity. The solution also includes tactical and operational reports that provide key insights into the performance of a sales team.
Typically, Cargo is an afterthought in most airlines and cruise ferries in terms of schedules, equipment and profitability. Foresight will address this challenge by providing the impact of cargo so that an airline or cruise ferry can make an informed decision looking at the overall profitability of the organization. In addition, the solution will assist in setting sales targets and tracking for the cargo sales team across the network
“Revenue Technology Services is committed to providing value enhancing planning solutions to the air cargo and cruise ferry freight industry and in that spirit has built a comprehensive state of the art revenue planning sales target and tracking solution that will make the lives of cargo departments easier. Foresight will complement our cargo revenue management solution, CargoProfitOpt and our price optimization solution, CargpPriceOpt completing the decision support package for the marketing and planning functions of cargo departments” said Mukundh Parthasarathy, Senior Vice President of Cargo Solutions at RTS.
Key Departure Monitor in Collaboration with Color Line
At RTS we value the partnerships we have with our clients and are always exploring new ways to enhance our solutions. One such collaboration through on-site workshops, visits and remote sessions has been the evolution of the Key Departure Monitor (KDM). We would like to extend our thanks to Terje Roli, Glenn Kvisler, and Tommy Sneltvedt whose contributions have been invaluable during this process. We have deployed the initial version to Color Line Production in a 2016 version patch release.
An expanded version will be available to all clients in the 2018 release, and it will be equally valuable to our airline clients and the cruise/ferry industry. Those clients that attended our last Summit in Amsterdam had the opportunity for a sneak review and demonstration of the functionality.
Whilst KDM brings together some existing functionality to a central location and making it a more user friendly, new tools have also been introduced so that new processes and workflows can be leveraged. The KDM allows the analyst to configure multiple rules based on a number of critical criteria and variables. Some of them are given below:
The resulting departures and data will be displayed on the List, or as a Calendar View, or Heat Map, which will make it easier to identify trends and patterns. These critical lists can also be automatically e-mailed out to other users, managers or departments.
The following are some key uses, although the user will have the flexibility to create many rules to cover a wide range of scenarios, periods and possibilities.
Critical Resource Availability: Identify departures with projected cabins or vehicle deck constraints.
Fill velocity: Identify departures booking quicker than expected. Identify trends and patterns.
Price Levels: Identify periods where surrounding departure price levels have a high variance.
Comparative Analysis: Provides ability to compare decision-making on the same departure last year with regards to price level rises. Track difference in year-on year booking, volume and revenue targets as well as Same Days Left performance.
High demand/Low Demand departures
The Key Departure List, shown below, displays standard departure level information regarding bookings, demand and year-on year comparisons. The graphical section will change based on the variable selected.
The KDM has a wide range of options and possibilities accessed directly from a single location, as detailed in the graphic below.
The future for KDM may see it replace the Case List entirely for some clients. One area of anticipated development is to provide a method for the analyst to create bespoke customizable rules and views to suit your business and nesting structure. As ever we will welcome feedback from all of our clients, based on practical application, to drive the future direction of this module.
Blockchain technology has been in the spotlight throughout most of 2017 and based on projections, may continue to ride the wave of popularity in the next decade or so. It has captured the imagination of companies across various industries including the travel and transportation sector and specifically in airlines. In the future, it may offer amazing opportunities beyond financial transactions, albeit most of the popularity till date has been due to Bitcoin.
What exactly is Blockchain? It is a decentralized encrypted database shared across a network of stakeholders where digital transactions can be stored and organized in a transparent, verifiable and secured way. Unlike traditional data technology, blockchain technologies are consistent, durable, shared and protected at the data element level.
So how do airlines cut through the buzz and use this technology to transform the way business operates currently?
Payments: Making settlements between different parties like airlines, hotels and travel agents etc. is an extremely complex process especially across borders. Blockchain could redefine this process by reducing the intermediaries, settlement timings and the cost involved while increasing the overall flow transparency. There are airlines which have started using blockchain to issue tickets.
Identification Verification: Today travelers are required to show their identification documents at multiple stages of their travel. Blockchain can simplify and make this process more secure.
Baggage tracking: Keeping track of traveler’s luggage is a big challenge as it moves from airlines to ground handlers and vice versa. Blockchain will allow all parties to exchange information even if they are not from the same alliance or related to the same segment improving the baggage tracking across the industry and minimizing chances of lost baggage.
Frequent Flyer Programs: Blockchain has the ability to turn airline miles into something much more valuable outside the defined boundaries of airlines and their limited partners with whom passengers get to spend it. It can help an airline’s miles to accrue in real-time, and a community-driven market place can be developed to use them instead of the limited spend options made available by individual airlines.
Aircraft Maintenance: Keeping track of maintenance logs is a big challenge as it is still stored on paper. Blockchain can help create a system where components could be registered in a blockchain after they are manufactured together with all relevant data. If the part then malfunctions, maintenance technicians can use the information stored to review the exact number of flight hours and to decide whether to replace or repair the part. Airlines have already started employing blockchain to track their maintenance and repair systems.
Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM): Managing aircraft landings, turnaround and airborne again within the constraints of realistic turnaround times, weather events, and safety is very complex task with lots of separate and untrusting parties involved in it which need to share information. Blockchain would allow each party to write to the chain and see a true picture of what is happening in near real time at an airport. This would mean that decision making would not happen in isolation resulting in fewer delays and potentially highlighting areas which regularly cause delays.
The above list is far from exhaustive and areas where blockchain can have a positive impact will certainly grow. The challenge that lies herein is to continue to find areas where blockchain can add value to the overall business. As the popularity of blockchain grows, there will be increasing pressure on both airlines and their software vendors to adapt to these new market forces.