Bangkok Airways' information-technology budget has soared to Bt200 million for 2014 and this year and the boutique airline is committed to continuing to invest heavily in technology throughout the years ahead.
President Puttipong Prasarttong-osoth said yesterday that investment in technology was crucial for the airline business to increase its competitiveness in this dynamic world.
Bangkok Airways has built three domestic airports – Samui, Sukhothai and Trat – and handles 200 flights per day to 11 domestic and 13 international destinations. It carried more than 4 million passengers last year. Puttipong said this operation generated gobs of information that the company needed to get into the system quickly to be analysed for business expansion and decision-making.
“This year, we aim to boost our passenger numbers to more than 5 million on existing routes, both domestic and international. We can increase frequencies on the various routes efficiently because we have near-real-time information for analysis. We now can see which flight operates at a profit or loss and by how much at near real time, so we will have more capability and flexibility to manage our business,” he said.
Bangkok Airways is the first airline in the world to adopt the SAP HANA scale-out system.
Prattit Santiprabob, adviser to the president, said the airline used to have silo-based IT systems that were not integrated, but now it can have near-real-time data on hand for efficient business management.
“The company invested about Bt100 million last year on the SAP HANA scale-out solution and hardwares which provided by Cisco Thailand. It will continue to invest about Bt100 million this year to implement the second phase, including a business warehouse system, business intelligence and analytics for both SAP and non-SAP data,” he said.
SAP is a German multinational software firm.
Bangkok Airways is also investing in its airport information-management system. It has signed a contract and will implement this system for six months. The system will go live by year-end. Vatsun Thirapatarapong, managing director of Cisco in Thailand, said the company would see a lot more airlines investing in technology to improve their competitiveness.
“This year in Thailand, we will see more than 10 projects in the airline industry to invest in technology, which is an increase from only a couple of projects last year. The investments are in IT infrastructure, data-recovery systems, mobility work-based systems and data analytical systems,” he said.