Navigating a period of turbulence in the aviation industry


Flying is not easy. Managing flight operations requires airlines to keep abreast of a range of complex and frequently changing factors, such as crew changes, weather disturbances and aircraft availability. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, managing flight operations has become even more complex as pandemic-related lockdowns cut the wings of the aviation industry and led many staff to shift from work to home.

While there are fewer flights to handle, operations planning now depends on a variety of non-corporate IT environments with varying quality and reliability of bandwidth. Like any airline, Eurowings must ensure that its planes and passengers fly safely and on time. With a fleet of more than 130 aircraft, the Germany-based low-cost carrier, part of the Lufthansa Group, employs around 300 people to manage flight operations. Before the pandemic, Eurowings was exploring a new technological solution to allow remote access to its employees. When the pandemic hit, the airline knew it needed to prioritize remote access – despite frozen IT budgets – and quickly implemented a new remote access solution.

Where the old system was running on central servers in Eurowings’ data center, the company adopted a new cloud-based system that addressed previous issues related specifically to system administration, security and remote sessions for home workers.

Thanks to a browser-based solution, Eurowings home workers can now have quick remote access to the data and high-resolution graphical displays they need to plan and manage flights. The solution provides enhanced security through network encryption and support for logins and employee verification. Home Wi-Fi and bandwidth issues are solved with innovative data compression technology, and the entire system can be centrally managed, making it easy for IT staff to monitor issues and help resolve user issues remotely.

“What we have learned over the past 12 months does not take anything for granted. Things were constantly changing, sometimes on a weekly basis, so flexibility was and remains the key, ”says Uwe Kohlmetz, OPS IT Manager at Eurowings. “The solution helps us by supporting one of our most critical applications and providing metrics to support our internal customers, resolve incidents and respond to new challenges that arise as a result of the pandemic. And this gives us the flexibility to do so from home, from our offices in Cologne or, if necessary, from anywhere in the world. “

While helping employees work more efficiently, the solution also reduced overhead costs and delays associated with flight operations.

“Flight planning is essential for the aviation industry, and this solution is proving to be the unique, stable and secure solution, packed with the features we needed,” said Andreas Buxot, Flight Operations Expert at Eurowings. “Our users are very happy.”

As more flights resume and global travel restrictions continue to evolve during the pandemic, the new system has enabled employees to respond more quickly to changing conditions, whether to restore or modify routes, move crews, adjust ground services or other tasks.

Eurowings is an OpenText client. Read more here.

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