SITA said Malaysia Airlines recently selected its in-house reservations system as an expansion of an ongoing $130 million improvement program. The 10-year deal, signed in 2006, includes e-ticketing and departure control system upgrades allowing for such self-service options as kiosk and Web check-in.

"SITA's Horizon portfolio has been crucial to our business turnaround and that is why we are now retiring our in-house reservations system and implementing SITA Reservations and Inventory," MAS CEO and MD Idris Jala said. "This will provide us with robust core passenger management services to meet our future functional and business growth requirements."

The Horizon portfolio supports a range of operational models including interline, codeshare and alliance compliance, multiple parallel distribution channels, extensive self-service, direct distribution, automated business processes and yield optimization.

"The Horizon solution has enabled Malaysia Airlines to focus on its major business objectives: Controlling its business by growing revenues while minimizing costs; making critical improvements in airline profitability; controlling its channels by optimizing the use of all distribution channels; and controlling the customer relationship by delivering improved customer service and encouraging loyalty and long-term customer value," SITA Portfolio Marketing Manager David Smith told Airline Procurement.

So far SITA has implemented e-ticketing technology and an upgraded departure control system that allows MAS to offer kiosk and Web check-in options to passengers. It also re-engineered the carrier's fares strategy, streamlining workflow, competitive monitoring and effective distribution and optimizing an online booking engine.

According to Jala, SITA provided MAS with a new Passenger Services System "in record time," making it "one of the fastest e-ticketing implementations ever seen by IATA." Installation was completed in 11 months and resulted in a $6 savings for each ticket sold.

"Malaysia Airlines deserves enormous credit for seizing the opportunity presented by smart IT solutions to turn around its performance in a relatively short space of time. We are proud to have been an active partner in this process," said SITA CEO Francesco Violante.

By ensuring booking authentication through an integrity and protection program, SITA also helped eliminate revenue leakage and prevent the waste of 200,000 segments in the first half of 2008.

"SITA's partnership approach with us, focusing on business goals and delivery success, rather than simply trying to sell us existing solutions, has been greatly appreciated by all of us at Malaysia Airlines," added Jala. "SITA really understood our business turnaround plan, and continues to work hard in delivering the most appropriate solutions to drive our business forward--profitably."

Separately, ATR reached a seven-year Global Maintenance Agreement with MAS to provide spare parts and maintenance services for the ATR 72-500 fleet of the carrier's subsidiaries MASwings and Firefly. The contract is valued at $27 million and covers the repair of equipment and line replaceable units as well as spare parts inventory.

"The partnership with ATR will allow us quick and fast access, at an optimal cost, to every part of the maintenance process of the ATR aircraft in our fleet," Malaysia Airlines Senior GM-Engineering and Maintenance Mohd Roslan Ismail observed. "This makes a lot of economic sense to us as the long-term support of ATR allows us to optimize the introduction of ATRs into Firefly and MASwings."