Airlines extend hosted application contracts

Cathay Pacific today announced a multimillion-dollar, three-year contract with Unisys to host core business applications, with an option for a two-year extension.

Unisys will host the airline passenger reservations, departure control and cargo management systems, middleware application management and the eventual migration from legacy communications to the Unisys Online Message Switching Engine.

Unisys has managed the passenger reservations, departure control and cargo management systems as a sub-contractor for nine years; however, the new scope of the contract includes middleware application management and communications upgrades.

The reservation, departure control and cargo platforms will be re-located to the Unisys data centre west of Sydney.

Unisys A/NZ managing director Mike Ettling said the company had worked with the airline as a subcontractor, but the new deal extends to managing the full data centre, as well as IT service provision, adding that the contract was built to change over time.

Cathay Pacific information management general manager Anthony Yeung said a key requirement was high availability of critical systems and flexibility for demand fluctuations as well as a low-risk migration plan away from legacy systems.

Additionally, budget airline Jetstar this week renewed a "multi-year" outsourcing agreement for the Navitaire reservation and revenue management system.

Under the agreement Navitaire, which is a subsidiary of Accenture, will support an expanded "free-sale code-share service" allowing Jetstar and carriers Jetstar Asia and ValuAir to both market and operate flights with other airlines including Qantas.

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