Australia's low fares airline Jetstar has signed a multi million dollar commercial agreement with IBM Global Business Services to supply, implement and support Web Check-In and Kiosk solutions for its domestic customers.
Valued at close to A$3 million, Jetstar and IBM will partner to introduce a low cost and technologically advanced check-in solution to supplement existing customer check-in processing at its major domestic gateway airports in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne Avalon.
Under the terms of the agreement, Jetstar will introduce Web Check-in capability and 32 Airport Check-in Kiosk units during the first implementation phase at these airports.
Further rollouts to other Jetstar domestic destinations is under review.
The Qantas Group plans to acquire nine additional Airbus A320 aircraft for Jetstar between December 2007 and March 2009 to underpin its next phase of growth in the Australian domestic market - equating to a 40 per cent rise on Jetstar's existing domestic capacity.
Jetstar CEO Alan Joyce said the pursuit of this leading technology solution at busy airports had complemented the low fare carrier's narrow body fleet growth into a strong domestic market.
"Jetstar's track record of pursuing the latest technology to benefit our customers whilst adhering to our philosophy of maintaining cost leadership in markets we serve has secured a favourable customer processing solution through this commercial arrangement," Joyce said.
"Our growth expectations have driven the need for IBM's end-to-end solution over a three year timeframe.
"The agreement to deliver these service delivery solutions at Airport Check-ins is all about meeting our strong growth predictions in passenger volumes in the Australian market over the next 18 months with a customer friendly solution at busy Airports.
"Importantly this electronic service delivery option will continue to supplement our traditional and efficient passenger and baggage check-in and will not displace any jobs at these ports."
The IBM solution for Jetstar over an initial three year timeframe includes Kiosk hardware, applications software, project management, implementation and ongoing solution support services.
Joyce said phase one will be to get the new Kiosks in place across four domestic Airport terminals.
"But we're taking a broader view of how technology allows us to deliver a better customer experience at the same time as lowering our costs and enabling more growth of low fare services to occur over time," he added.
IBM Global Business Services managing partner Ian Ball said Jetstar is a dynamic and highly efficient organisation that was looking for a strategic partner that would be able to provide responsiveness and value.
"The partner selection process itself was a test of this and IBM was able to demonstrate its capability to provide a comprehensive solution in the timeframe required," he said.