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Established in 1988, Asiana Airlines is one of South Korea’s two major airlines. Its 72 aircraft fly 14 routes to 12 cities in South Korea and 87 routes to 68 cities in 21 additional countries. The airline’s international cargo service comprises 20 routes to 23 cities in 13 countries. In 2011, Asiana Airlines was named the Airline of the Year by Global Traveler magazine.
As more passengers chose to fly with Asiana Airlines, the company had to ensure it could properly manage, store, and protect around 12.1 terabytes of passenger and business information. With the quantity of information increasing, it took longer to process passenger reservations and cancellations, integrate passenger and ticketing information, analyze ticket sales, and extract and load data to a data warehouse.
In the highly competitive airline industry, slow system performance can be detrimental to business, so in August 2010, Asiana Airlines implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine to improve the performance of its passenger management information system. As a result, the airline cut approximately four to five hours off the time it took to turn its raw data into daily performance information.
In the past, the passenger management process started around midnight and was finished at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. Now, with Oracle Exadata, it is completed by 9 a.m., before the start of the business day. By speeding up data processing, Asiana Airlines has shortened decision-making time and ensured reservations staff can draw on the latest passenger and ticketing information when organizing and confirming travel arrangements for its customers and travel partners.
The value of this ability to provide prompt, accurate customer service became clear in March 2011, when Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami. In the immediate aftermath of the disasters, Asiana Airlines received thousands of inquiries from anxious passengers wanting to cancel or reschedule their flights to Japan. The airline had to cancel and reschedule flights, reissue air tickets, organize refunds, and deal with hundreds of inquiries each day. Despite the increased number of queries and transactions, the passenger management information system did not falter once. This enabled customer service staff to provide accurate, up-to-date reservation and ticketing data to passengers.
Asiana Airlines receives flight bookings from a range of partners, including travel and financial agencies. The airline uses Oracle Exadata to analyze the bookings it receives from these partners and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to generate performance analysis reports. These reports contain information, including seat reservations and airline boardings.
In the past, such in-depth analyses took up to 10 hours to complete, while now, with Oracle Exadata, the process is completed in just 10 minutes. Staff uses the analysis reports to develop partner sales and marketing strategies. By knowing which partners’ services deliver the highest value in a particular market―for example, the Asia Pacific sector―the airline can create promotions that benefit all parties, and improve its overall competitiveness.
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition also allows staff to generate and view data in visual formats, such as graphs and tables, without asking database administrators for assistance. This improves efficiency by releasing database administrators from nonessential duties, and it gives staff the freedom to create tables and graphs as needed.
Presenting data in a visual format helps to better understand complex data, so staff can see the need to modify business and sales strategies if necessary. For example, analyzing sales for certain flights or destinations and predicting future demands helps to prepare more accurate flight schedules, avoiding under- or overbooking flights and seats.
Asiana Airlines is now considering adding data to its integrated information infrastructure and extending Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition across the business.
Having information with greater depth would help reservations and customer service staff worldwide to improve the quality of assistance they provide and gain additional operational efficiencies.
Any disruptions to business operations due to system failure prevent staff from completing flight reservations, modifying or cancelling bookings, and answering queries. Oracle Exadata minimizes system downtime by reducing the time needed to detect and solve the root cause of errors. In the past, it could take up to eight hours to solve errors; however, error-resolution time has now been dramatically reduced. Faster problem detection and resolution reduces the impact of system downtime on normal business operations and prevents revenue loss.
Asiana Airlines also uses Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor Oracle Exadata, further ensuring the stability and reliability of all hardware and software components.
Asiana Airlines is using Oracle Data Integrator to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data in real time from the passenger management information system into a data warehouse. This enables the airline to analyze passenger and ticketing information in a timely manner, reduce ETL costs, and ensure stable ETL processing to minimize risk.
The airline is planning to further improve data processing performance by implementing Oracle Partitioning and Oracle Advanced Compression.
Asiana Airlines and Oracle Partner Asiana IDT conducted benchmark tests of several solutions. Oracle Exadata performed 10 to 338 times better than the existing system for placement operation, including data loading and inquiries. This result was also 2 to 80 times faster than competing solutions. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition also performed 11 to 190 times better than the airline’s existing business intelligence system.
The powerful performance, stability, and security of both solutions assured Asiana Airlines that passenger and ticketing data could be reliably and safely transferred, processed, and analyzed.
Asiana Airlines worked with Asiana IDT to implement Oracle Exadata and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. Asiana IDT is a subsidiary of Kumho Asiana Group and specializes in IT services for the airline, construction, distribution, financial, leisure, and manufacturing industries.
“Asiana IDT has helped Asiana Airlines optimize its IT infrastructure for many years, and was instrumental in integrating passenger and ticketing data,” said Goh Seok Nam, vice president, airlines & infra, Asiana IDT. “Our understanding of the unique requirements of the airline industry means we are well placed to help improve operations.”