IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 1 - December 2009

Case Study - Get more from your messaging

Vol1 7At first sight, Manches Aviation and Servisair don't have much in common apart from their involvement in air transport. The first is a small London-based aircraft charter broker, the second one of the world's leading ground handlers, with stations all over Europe and North America. But a closer look reveals that they both depend heavily on messaging services, and they have recently turned to ARINC to meet their needs.

AviNet Mail is the web-based face of ARINC's industry-standard Type B messaging service. In a recent survey of nearly 200 users no fewer than 72 per cent said they were very satisfied with AviNet Mail, more than 60 per cent reported that their Type B bills had fallen after they moved over, and nearly all of them said they would be glad to recommend the service to others.  

Amongst these happy customers is Norman Manches, Managing Director of Manches Aviation, and Mike Williams, Servisair's Manchester-based manager of Operations Support for airport passenger systems.

“We moved to AviNet Mail this August and we use it primarily for monitoring the departures and arrivals of the charter flights that we are involved with,” says Manches. “We receive movement messages from airline handling agents all over the world, and particularly in relation to routes between the UK and Egypt, which account for a large part of our volume.”

Effortless integration with everyday email, big cost savings and effective customer support – for Norman Manches these are the top three strengths of AviNet Mail.

“One of the clever things about it is the ability to receive all your Type B messages through any regular email programme,” he says. “This is an absolute boon for a small business whose primary use of the service is for receiving messages. You can go into your mailbox from any Internet connection anywhere in the world, and you can set up your BlackBerry or other wireless handheld to receive your messages automatically.”

Manches estimates that AviNet Mail saves him 20-25 per cent in messaging costs compared with the service he used before. Not being charged for incoming messages makes a big difference, he says. “We receive a lot of messages from handling agents – between two and five hundred a day – and only a quarter of them are relevant to our business. The last thing we want is to have to pay for the equivalent of junk mail.”

If an issue does arise with the service, Manches is just a local call away from his UK-based account manager. “In my experience, it's difficult to resolve technical problems by talking on the phone to someone thousands of miles away, however willing and intelligent that person might be,” he comments. “At the most basic level, there can be problems of English pronunciation – either the operator doesn't understand your explanation of the problem, or you don't understand the solution being offered.”

Quality of support also matters to Servisair's Mike Williams. “If you have a problem or you're ordering new connections, you just have a feeling that the matter's being looked at closely and will be dealt with efficiently and quickly,” he says. “ARINC provides us with prompt and effective support.”

The company started trialling AviNet Mail at Edinburgh Airport at the beginning of the year and has now implemented it in another four or five locations, including London Gatwick, Liverpool and Newcastle. “Ultimately we'll have it at pretty much all of the airports in the country,” says Williams. “The intention is to replace all our current messaging infrastructure with AviNet Mail.”

Servisair uses AviNet Mail for a wide variety of functions - passenger handling, operations, load control - in relation to the flights that it handles. “Pre-flight we get passenger lists from the airline, plus details of any special requirements for catering or wheelchair assistance,” Williams says. “When the flight has gone we tell the airline things like who actually checked in, and the time of the departure.”

With its multiple stations and multitude of flights handled every day, Servisair in the UK is a heavy user of messaging and is starting to benefit correspondingly from its switch to ARINC. “In the past it has proved very difficult to keep track of all the connections we've got in all the airports,” explains Williams. “If you're not careful you can end up being charged for hundreds of redundant circuits. ARINC has really helped us to understand our existing infrastructure and identify where we might be wasting money.”

Cash flow is also being helped by ARINC's readiness to support Servisair with its billing of customers. “In an ideal world we should be able to charge each airline for each message we send on its behalf,” says Williams. “Before, this proved difficult to achieve. But now ARINC is facilitating accurate charges to the airlines.”

All in all, says Williams, Servisair is on track to cut its messaging costs by around 40 per cent as a result of moving to AviNet Mail.

With his four-man operation, Norman Manches doesn't stand to save anywhere near as much money as a giant like Servisair. But he shares the bigger company's enthusiasm for ARINC AviNet Mail. “We're getting at least as much functionality as we had before, plus cost savings, plus increased flexibility,” he concludes. “So far this has proved to be a very positive move for us.”



IMS EMEA Newsletters 

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The threat of terrorism has brought extra urgency to the effort to implement electronic borders around the world. There are other drivers too – notably the need to control illegal immigration and combat international organised crime.

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