Royal Jordan turns to Big Blue's middleware

Royal Jordanian Airlines will introduce a new integrated baggage management system based on the IBM Web Sphere and xSeries platform. Since it began privatisation two years ago, the airline has been restructuring its systems to improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  November 21, 2004

Royal Jordanian Airlines will introduce a new integrated baggage management system based on the IBM Web Sphere software platform. Since it began its move to privatisation, the airline has been restructuring its systems to improve customer satisfaction and safety, and increase business efficiencies. Error-free baggage handling is crucial to Royal Jordanian, as it impacts not only the safety of the aircraft, but mishandled baggage causes frustration for passengers and losses to the airline through compensation payments. The new automated system compliments the existing IATA system, with full integration capabilities between the two systems. The new baggage reconciliation system (BRS), which is being by IBM’s Jordanian partner, United Business Machines (UBM) automates and streamlines the baggage handling process, by reducing the amount of time spent by its on-ground staff locating baggage and respective owners. The middleware development environment that allows the airline to manage baggage-handling processes by using wireless hand-held devices for screening baggage at the check-in counters where information on the passenger is captured by the wireless device and transmitted via the web to the main system. Running on IBM’s xSeries integrated servers using the application server allow the different data sources to be linked intelligently together. “Since we began the privatisation process in 2002, our goal has been to give customers great service from the moment the ticket is purchased to when each passenger arrives at their destination,” says Ahmad Abul-Ragheb, executive assistant IT, at Royal Jordanian. “Web services give us enormous flexibility to add features or tie in other information systems as we increase the sophistication of our operation.” By choosing Web Sphere, IBM claims that Royal Jordanian does not need to rewrite applications when it wants to include more mobile computing or web-based systems into its IT strategy. Ali Rugibani, marketing manager at UBM adds: “We can now show other organisations around the region how web services can be used to tie together a wide array of disparate technology systems using open standards. Royal Jordanian has taken an extremely progressive strategy, which will yield enormous benefits in the long term as it grows its information systems.” Ultimately the system will allow ground crew to scan luggage anywhere on the apron, and know exactly where it should be loaded without having to returning it to the departure hall. The first phase will cover Queen Alia International Airport and the second phase will extend the system to cover King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba and the city airport at Marka. “An airport should be a ‘zero tolerance zone’ for downtime and errors. We have been working with IBM and UBM for two decades now. UBM not only provides us with round the clock support, but also has a team of experienced developers,” says Jamal Saudi, director of IT at Royal Jordanian. The airline started working with UBM in the 80’s to implement their mainframe environment.

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