Bangkok Airways offers regular passenger and charter services to destinations in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore. The airline operates from Don Muang, Bangkok's international airport, and is continuously exploring new destinations to help develop the local tourism industry. Bangkok Airways uses KEOPS, an operational planning solution for the aviation industry from IFR France. KEOPS, developed with Visual LANSA, is multilingual and offers flight scheduling, crew management and operations control to airlines worldwide.
Hervé Le Roy, founder of IFR France, says, "We offer our solutions in French, Spanish and English. LANSA's productivity and strength in multilingual development was our major reason for selecting LANSA. LANSA also fits in our multi-platform strategy, as our solutions can be deployed on iSeries, NT with Oracle and in ASP environments. Automated functionality and reliability are key in aviation systems. LANSA is as reliable in the graphical Windows environment as it is in the native iSeries environment."
LANSA is as reliable in the graphical Windows environment as it is in the native iSeries environment
Bangkok Airways carries approximately 1.4 Million passengers a year and has a fleet of 15 planes, consisting of four Boeing 717 (125 seats), two Airbus 320 (162 Seats) and nine ATR72 (70 seats). Approximately eighty percent of its passengers are tourists, but the airline also caters for specific industrial areas across Thailand.
Alain Bergeron, Flight Control Director Bangkok Airways, says, "In order to offer the best possible service, optimize flight schedules and meet strict regulations you cannot suffice with guesswork."
"We wanted to improve our on-time performance record. Delays caused by bad weather or traffic control cannot be avoided, but with proper scheduling you can minimize rotational delays, the most common type of delay. You need statistics regarding the number of passengers, type of plane, load factor and airport service to determine the best possible turn around time. In our manual system we didn't have these statistics and consequently some of our schedules were too tight. We plan our schedules two seasons in advance, and inefficiencies are difficult to fix once the schedule is in place."
"We also wanted to improve our internal checks and documentation for meeting the many regulations in the aviation industry. For example, one of these regulations is that crewmembers are not allowed to fly more than 30 hours in seven days. This was not easy to check and prove in our manual system. We have to be prepared at any time for an audit by the Ministry of Transport. If we cannot demonstrate that we are following the rules, than we can lose our license."
"Last, but not least, we wanted to improve our cost control. For example, when we receive the monthly over-flight invoices, we had no documentation to check their correctness. Who knows whether we flew 180 hours over Cambodia last month? The same was true for the monthly fuel bills. These invoices are for huge amounts and were approved without supporting documentation."
Bangkok Airways learned of IFR's software solution at an air show and was impressed by KEOPS full functionality, affordability and substantial list of references. Bangkok Airways has fully implemented KEOPS in its operations, and is now ready for extending the implementation to accounting.
You can minimize rotational delays with proper scheduling
KEOPS, for Keys for Operations & Planning System, is a complete and integrated LANSA solution that provides the backbone of Airline operations. KEOPS provides operational and financial control and allows for hypothetical flight schedules and budget simulations. Its Communication module integrates with both SITA or SABRE global ticket reservation dedicated networks. KEOPS also integrates with AMASIS for aircraft maintenance and spare parts management, another solution from IFR France, also implemented at Bangkok Airways.
Bangkok Airways has fully implemented KEOPS modules for Operations, Crew management, Crew scheduling, Flight Scheduling and Post-flight statistics, and partly implemented Direct Operating costs. Quotations implementation is scheduled for later this year. Implementation of modules for Ground staffing and Budget has not yet been scheduled.
At Bangkok Airways, KEOPS integrates with the passenger reservation system from SABRE. Crew names, aircraft assignment and flight numbers come from KEOPS, but details about passenger load come from SABRE reservations. Weather related information comes from a system called AFTN. All this information together is used to determine the fuel calculation and produces the flight plan with actual data. "On the day of the flight, the flight planning system is the most important system. But on the days before and after the flight, KEOPS is the most important system, because KEOPS archives all information and it contains the planning," explains Bergeron.
"I have a French supplier for KEOPS and an American Supplier for SABRE. I invited both over to Thailand at the same time and during dinner we discussed how the systems should integrate. Technically it was easy to implement."
Technically it was easy to implement
"KEOPS crew control validates the legality of every rotation, every flight, every day for every crew member. It only takes 45 seconds to have a complete legality check. Before it took us many hours and it wasn't always accurate. Now we have a very good control over crew flight hours and are sure to meet regulations. This is the area where we benefit most from the system," continues Bergeron.
The Operation department receives reports on all activities the following day, including data about on-time performance, load factors and other statistics. These reports are used in daily operational meetings. "The reports help us to monitor and fine tune operations. We have better statistics and rules on how long it takes to unload passengers and take them back on board and how long it takes to fix certain jobs. Proper handling of operational problems can save a lot of time. It is more clear with KEOPS where those problems are and how to solve them permanently."
"We have improved our on-time-performance through all seasons. Last year we saw the on-time performance going down when we had a load factor of over 60 percent in our high season. But with the data from KEOPS we have been able to fine-tune our schedule and operations."
"The graphical interface of KEOPS makes crew scheduling a lot easier and we can have a printout on one sheet of A3 paper, of everyone, every flight for one month for an aircraft type. That makes it easy to see whether the schedule is well balanced."
"Calculations for overtime and perdiem, payments for flights over 12 hours, took 21 days in the manual system. We had a person working every day of the month to produce that report. Now all landing and overtime calculations are produced automatically and accounting receives this data for payroll input within five days after month end."
"The automatic rotation generation is a big time saver. The system analyzes all flights and builds crew rotations to your specification, such as the number of landings, number of flight hours and other criteria. In a second step these rotations are assigned to actual crewmembers by aircraft type and position. This used to take us 12 days every month in the manual system. Now it takes only two days."
We have improved our on-time performance through all seasons
"KEOPS is completely implemented in our operations department, and we are now looking forward at extending implementation to accounting. This is already happening for payroll data. But we will only enjoy the full benefits when Direct Cost data from KEOPS will be used by accounting to verify incoming invoices. We have statements from other KEOPS customers, such as Corsair in France, that the system pays for itself in a few months, just by the volume of rejected invoices."
"I have worked through my career with different aviation systems. KEOPS is the most integrated. From budget to flight scheduling, everything is linked together. You don't have to transfer or retype any data from one module to another."
KEOPS is the most integrated aviation system I have worked with. Everything is linked together
Company and System Information
- The origins of Bangkok Airways can be traced back to 1968 and a company known as Sahakol Air. Today Bangkok Airways flies to a total of thirteen destinations in five countries.
- Bangkok Airways uses an iSeries model 170.
- For more information visit: www.bangkokair.com
- IFR France is a leading supplier of aviation software, with over 70 customers, including Aeroflot, Air Caledonie, Air Macau, Bangkok Airways, Britair, Corsair, Luxair, Middle East Airlines, TunisAir, Vietnam Airlines, the French Navy and many more.
- For more information visit: www.ifrfrance.com