IBS Software | May 17, 2022
Oman Air has partnered with IBS Software to fully digitalize its staff travel program, delivering a highly configurable, self-service platform for employees to book and manage complex leisure travel, annual leave travel and duty travel policies.
Award-winning Oman Air overhauled its on-premise legacy system with IBS Software's SaaS-based iFly Staff platform to enable self-service for its employees to easily manage their travel needs. The system has also significantly extended usability, allowing users access via any browser or any Android or iOS device, replacing the legacy desktop-only service. iFly Staff now handles all Oman Air active and retired employee's ID travel, supplementary ticketing, and annual leave ticketing, as well as the staff ticketing of partner companies TRANSOM Catering, TRANSOM Handling and TRANSOM SATS Cargo.
The platform's highly configurable business rules engine means Oman Air gains the ability to dynamically update its policies, create and roll out new policies and processes, thus reducing the lead-time to implement policy changes. This has resulted in significant gains on operational efficiency over the last six months since the system went live.
"Our partnership with IBS Software has transformed the staff travel experience, simplifying processes to make it far easier for our employees to manage their personal and corporate travel. Navigating the intricacies of constantly updating travel policies represents a major win for the whole airline – from both an employee satisfaction and operational efficiency perspective."
Dr. Khalid Al Zadjali, Senior Vice President Digital, Oman Air
"The new staff travel system comes as part of Oman Air's ongoing efforts to enhance the benefits and facilities presented to employees," said Hilal Al Siyabi, Senior Vice President, People, Oman Air. "Self-service and mobile capabilities have significantly improved our employees' travel experience while reducing the workload associated with providing facilities."
"It has been a privilege to work with the teams at Oman Air, who are constantly striving to deliver new, innovative services to staff and passengers alike," said Vijay Chakravarthy, Vice President and Head of Staff Travel, IBS Software. "Fully digitalizing processes has allowed them the ability to not only provide superior staff travel functionality and ease of use for users, but also considerably improve Oman Air's internal operations. We're also proud that the deployment of iFly Staff was managed remotely due to Covid-19 travel restrictions."
About IBS Software
IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world.
About Oman Air
Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, began its operations in 1993. Initially founded to serve key domestic routes, it has since undergone rapid growth and is today recognized as a major international carrier connecting cities around the world to Oman's spectacular natural beauty, captivating charm and genuine openness. A Five-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating from Skytrax and two consecutive Five-Star Major Airline Ratings from the Airline Passenger Experience Association are among its many industry accolades.
The airline has played a vital role in transforming Muscat into an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting adjacent commercial, industrial and tourism activities. With a fleet comprising ultra-modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that feature luxuriously appointed interiors, Oman Air is renowned for its exceptional products and services, both in the air and on the ground, and for the signature Omani hospitality available to guests on every flight.
Ongoing investments in new technologies, innovative products and enhanced guest services have solidified its position as a premium, multi-award-winning airline of outstanding repute. Both Oman Air and Oman Air Holidays proudly display the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for best practices relating to standardized global health and hygiene protocols.
Wheels Up | April 04, 2022
Wheels Up Experience Inc., the leading brand in private aviation, today announced it has officially closed its acquisition of Air Partner plc, a U.K.-based global aviation services group with operations in 18 locations and four continents. Under the terms of the transaction, and following stockholder and regulatory approval, Wheels Up has acquired the entire issued share capital of Air Partner for 125 pence per share, equivalent to an enterprise value of approximately $109 million.
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services company providing private jet, group and freight charter and aviation safety & security solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals, across civil and military organizations.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Air Partner team as Wheels Up officially goes global. Air Partner's rich 60-year history in private aviation and complementary services will be an excellent enhancement of our brand as we continue to expand our marketplace and deliver a world-class experience for our members and customers. Bringing these two teams together is a tremendous advantage as we work to reinvent the future of private travel."
Wheels Up Chairman and CEO Kenny Dichter
In addition to expanding Wheels Up's core private travel offering internationally, the acquisition also adds group charter, freight and safety & security services to the Wheels Up portfolio. The Air Partner leadership team – including CEO Mark Briffa – will continue in their roles going forward.
"The response to this acquisition from our stockholders to our employees to our partners has been overwhelmingly positive," Briffa said. "We expect to leverage Wheels Up's investments in brand, technology, operations and service as we continue our strong start to 2022."
Over time, the company expects to operate all of its core private aviation services under a unified, global Wheels Up brand, building on its established equity as a recognized and trusted private aviation provider. The Air Partner group's subsidiaries – Baines Simmons, Redline Assured Security, CHS Engineering Services and Kenyon International Emergency Services – will continue to operate their established brands under the broader Wheels Up umbrella.
Wheels Up expects the integration of Air Partner's historically profitable business to be accretive to contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA in the first year. Air Partner will maintain its Gatwick, U.K., headquarters.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is the leading provider of "on demand" private aviation in the United States and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Powered by a growing marketplace of more than 1,500 safety-vetted and verified aircraft, Wheels Up is the only company in the industry to offer a total private aviation solution that includes a relentless focus on safety and service, with flexibility across all types of aircraft, membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management, whole aircraft sales and commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines.
The Wheels Up App enables members and customers to search, book and fly. Wheels Up Connect, Core and Business memberships provide enhancements such as flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Down events and exclusive member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. Wheels Up's ongoing Wheels Up Cares program aligns with philanthropic organizations and initiatives that affect and matter to the company and its customers, members, stakeholders, families and friends. The Wheels Up Cares fleet comprises five custom-painted Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft, with each plane serving as a flying symbol for a specific social cause.
About Air Partner:
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a world-leading international aviation services group providing aircraft charter, aviation safety & security solutions and managed services to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals, across civil and military organizations. The Air Partner Group has two divisions: Air Partner Charter, comprising group charter, private jets, freight and specialist services; and Air Partner Services (previously Safety & Security), which comprises Baines Simmons, an aviation safety management and fatigue risk management consultancy, Redline Assured Security Ltd, a leading provider of global security solutions, Air Partner CHS, a leading international engineering company, Kenyon International Emergency Services, Inc., a world leader in emergency planning and incident response, and managed services. Air Partner has 18 locations across four continents, with its headquarters located alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. The group employs around 450 professionals globally and operates 24/7. It is ISO 9001:2015 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide.
StratX | March 14, 2022
Making the firm’s first-ever appearance at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading Americas conference, Strategy X Partners (“StratX”) detailed the accelerating growth trajectory for its workforce analytics and strategy advisory business, which assists aviation clients in transforming their operations and ensuring their employees are productive, innovative, and engaged.
“The most important asset across all sizes of organizations is their people,” contended Gil Jones, StratX’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, elaborating that “the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled labor to become a front-and-center matter and businesses require creative solutions to their labor-related challenges as the mechanisms used in historical downturns are no longer effective.”
As seen across all industries, including in the highly cyclical and competitive aviation sector, the importance of workforce has been elevated to new levels during the pandemic, resulting in labor becoming a partner in solution development. The employment landscape has also changed due to persisting labor shortages, reinforcing the urgent need for constructive labor relations centered around employee attraction and retention as a key measure of success. Moreover, impending technology advancements are poised to further evolve the ways in which companies maximize the value of people and ensure that they are working smarter, not harder.
“Embracing this mentality shift is essential to achieving long-term sustainability and flexibility as companies rebuild and remerge from the pandemic, while preparing their organizations for the future. Business leaders require seasoned and experienced partners who are able to engage with all levels of the management team, deliver innovative enhancements, and bring creative thinking to the decision-making process.”
Ben Kraszyk, StratX’s Co-Founder and Managing Director
Since its launch in late 2020, StratX has been at the forefront of workforce analytics and strategy, delivering highly customized, evidence-based insights to industry-leading organizations, counting among its first customers such aviation businesses as Sun Country Airlines, CommutAir, JSX, and Voyager Aviation Holdings.
Combining a data-driven approach with in-depth knowledge and a proven track record in strategy, cost reduction, operations, contract negotiations, organizational effectiveness, and process improvement, the firm has provided advisory services in the areas of:
Labor Diagnostic & Insights: Unlocking insights into labor cost and productivity, and benchmarking workforce metrics against industry leading practice and solutions;
Negotiation Strategy & Labor Relations: Providing guidance on aligning the entire labor negotiations team – from finance to operations – with the broader strategic goals of the business;
Operations Processes & Methods: Enhancing business processes and operations, ensuring efficiency, stability, and safety as market expectations evolve;
M&A + Due Diligence Support: Providing the expertise required to gain an in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics, in addition to its cost and productivity, throughout the entire life cycle of a successful transaction;
Executive Compensation & Rewards: Delivering strategically designed compensation programs that drive the desired behaviors and outcomes that enhance organizational performance and ensure a strong leadership team; and
Organizational Size & Shape: Positioning organizations for long-term sustainability by understanding not only the current state of the business, but the strategic and operational nuances of the business, as well.
Gil Jones, Ben Kraszyk, and Rob Kuehne, the founding team behind StratX, are deeply versed in all aspects of maximizing the potential of people, business processes, and workforces, having consulted to Fortune 500 companies and as part of engagement teams at industry-leading firms.
Gil Jones has deep roots in organizational design, right-sizing, labor forecasting, executive compensation, and operational improvement. Prior to StratX, Jones was a project leader at Seabury Consulting and worked within United Airlines’ Flight Operations division, providing analysis and support to initiatives targeted at improving flight safety, compliance, efficiency, and reliability.
Ben Kraszyk brings expertise in airport operations, labor finance, and strategy, supporting clients through negotiations, restructurings, privatizations, and initiatives targeted at enhancing costs and productivity. Prior to StratX, Kraszyk was a project leader at Seabury Consulting and worked at United Airlines, where he was focused on resource planning, as well as cost and operational enhancement projects in airport operations and cargo.
In addition to being a co-founding member of StratX, Rob Kuehne works at a boutique private equity firm, Sentient Partners International, where he supports transactions within the aviation and travel industries. Kuehne also holds securities licenses with Seabury Securities, a leading investment banking and specialty finance firm. Previously, he served as a broker at a leading wealth management and advisory firm.
As part of its aggressive growth trajectory, StratX plans to continue the build-out of its team with seasoned consultants and analysts as well as to forge industry alliances and partnerships to expand its core offerings to meet existing and prospective clients’ needs in the rapidly changing market environment.
“Business leaders are seeking out work with boutique advisors, who are committed to being a trusted, long-term partner,” asserted Rob Kuehne, StratX’s Co-Founder and Managing Director. “We built StratX with the mindset of being more of an ‘in the room with the customer’ partner in solving challenges, while being pragmatic and courageous enough to recommend dramatically new ways of doing things.”
Strategy X Partners (“StratX”) is a boutique consultancy that balances the right combination of insights & analytics and design & strategy to transform clients’ business operations and ensure their workforces are productive, innovative, and engaged. Operating from offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York, the StratX team works with a broad spectrum of companies across the globe, including clients in the cyclical and highly competitive travel industry.
Sabre Corporation | December 20, 2021
Thai airline Nok Air today announced strategic new long-term agreements with both Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and its subsidiary company, Radixx, to support the evolution of the carrier's new business strategy.
Nok Air has selected an extensive suite of products from Sabre and Radixx to expand distribution and revenue generation opportunities. The agreements support the carrier's repositioning to serve its growing customer base of premium travellers and value-based customer segments. The Sabre and Radixx products will power future business model evolution as Nok Air expands its international operation, develops new airline partnerships and explore further technical capabilities and innovations beyond today.
Radixx will provide a fully integrated passenger service system for Nok Air that spans reservations, inventory, pricing, e-commerce, agency distribution, departure control, load control, loyalty and other related capabilities. In parallel, under a new Sabre distribution deal, Nok Air will distribute its airline content across Sabre's global travel marketplace, opening the door to new international markets and growing its Thailand home market on the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS).
"We have ambitious business expansion plans, including launching new domestic and international routes, restructuring our fleet and adding new jets as we transition selected segments to a premium service to reflect our quality service, So, it was imperative to us that we chose the right technology partner to support us in all of our goals to streamline our operations, improve efficiencies and open new revenue opportunities and new markets while improving the experience for our travellers."
-Wutthiphum Jurangkool Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Nok Air.
The carrier, which operates out of Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, will utilize the following Sabre and Radixx products as Thailand re-opens to vaccinated international travellers:
Radixx Res – Radixx's core passenger system will enable Nok Air to manage all passenger operations and sales channels in order to expand distribution channels and partnerships.
Radixx Go and Radixx Go Touch – new digital capabilities to evolve Nok Air's check-in operation at airports, enhance customer service and enable additional ancillary revenue-generation opportunities across airport touchpoints. Radixx Go Touch enables airline employees to transact full airport departure control capabilities from a mobile device, allowing some flexibility from the constraints of physical airport desks and counters.
Radixx ezyCommerce – an integrated e-commerce and mobile solution to power Nok Air's business-to-consumer for passengers and business-to-business channels for travel agents and corporates.
Radixx Loyalty – new capabilities will enable Nok Air to strengthen the offering of its Nok Air Fan Club, including enhanced online servicing, automation and redemption options for members.
Radixx Insight – valuable business data and analytics to enable better decision-making, while powering the airline's internal back-office systems.
Sabre's Global Distribution System – to enable expansion into new global markets, ensuring its fares have the widest possible distribution.
"We're delighted to further expand our footprint in APAC while opening up access to new global markets and segments for Nok Air as well as providing new digital capabilities for the carrier, creating additional revenue-generation opportunities and, ultimately, enabling Nok to create improved experiences for travellers at all touchpoints."
-Chris Collins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Radixx
"At Sabre, we are laying out our strategic plans to create our own catalysts for growth, so we are thrilled to be able to support Nok Air on its own transformational journey, Our new dual-deal alliance with Nok Air, incorporating both PSS and GDS solutions, is the perfect example of how Sabre and Radixx are able to combine synergistic technological offerings to create effective, innovative end-to-end solutions for airlines of all sizes and cost models."
-Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Airline Sales, Sabre.
About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.