The airline operations control system landscape is quite limited. Mainly four big players dominate the market: Sabre with its Movement Manager, Lufthansa Systems, AIMS, and IBS. And this blog post does not intend to provide a recommendation which system to go for. Actually, this is linked to many factors: Functionality, airline requirements, pricing, etc. Furthermore, each of the systems (and systems from other providers too) can be used ass a data source for your real-time operational dashboard.
Nevertheless, with this blog post, I would like to pick out Sabre’s Movement Manager and explain the benefits of this system when used as input for your operational dashboard. These benefits are a result of the experiences we’ve made when setting up our real-time dashboards with airlines that are using Sabre Movement Manager. But to get it clear: It doesn’t mean that other systems do not provide similar benefits.
What an operations control system has to bring to the table when used as input for operational dashboard
To create a valuable dashboard that includes essential key performance indicators (KPI) and information to drive decisions, it all comes down to three main requirements concerning an operations control system:
- Easy to connect: The operations control system should provide technical capabilities to connect the dashboard systems easily. This is about standardized formats and state-of-the-art interfaces.
- Data richness: The operations control system should be capable of providing a vast amount of data to enable the operational dashboard to create various KPIs and display relevant information.
- Real-time: The operations control system has to provide the possibility of a steady, real-time data flow to enable the dashboard to show the latest and most up-to-date information and KPIs.
Our experience with Sabre Movement Manager as a data source
Easy to connect
During the recent years, Sabre developed a structured data format (XML4OPS). XML4OPS provides a clear definition of what and how data can be delivered by Movement Manager. It contains all important entities, but especially flight legs.
After the initial setup of an interface that can process XML4OPS within our cloud environment, connecting Movement Management is —thanks to XML4OPS— a question of a few days. There’s no longer a necessity to discuss data structures, attributes, or formats.
Accordingly, from our experience, when connecting airlines that use Sabre Movement Manager, it is only about coordinating the purely technical aspects (IP addresses, firewalls, etc.). That eases the complete process and brings it down to issues that can be organized and agreed quickly.
From an airline’s/client’s point-of-view, the effort is also minimal since only small configuration changes have to be performed. Below you can see a typical technical setup.
Movement Manager —from my point of view— can be considered as a “rich” system, functional-wise, and data-wise. It definitely offers data that enables an airline to provide a vast amount of KPIs and information on an operations dashboard. Based on the data we receive from clients that use Sabre Movement Manager, we can calculate the following KPIs (extract):
- Arrival Delay
- Arrival Punctuality
- Cancellation Rate
- Delayed Departures
- Delay Minutes
- Departure Delay
- Departure Punctuality
- Planned Departures
- Seat Load Factor
- Number of Passengers
- Passengers en Route
- Customer Satisfaction
- Customer Punctuality
- Aircraft Changes
- Equipment Changes
Therefore, we consider Sabre Movement Manager as a source system that perfectly meets the requirement to set up an operations dashboard with relevant and essential KPIs as well as information. Additionally, relevant lists, including delay reasons, estimates, and actual times, can be provided quickly.
Real-time data provision
Linked to the above mentioned XML4OPS, one of the strengths Sabre Movement Manager offers is in providing real-time updates. That means whenever Sabre Movement Manager receives updates or changes are performed, corresponding updates are pushed out by Movement Manager. In the context of the above shown IT setup, every update reflects a message, pushed to a message queue, and accordingly processed by the operations dashboard.
In comparison to other approaches we set up for clients using different systems, Movement Manager’s real-time update message streams provide the highest flexibility and perfectly meets the requirements of a real-time dashboard.
Sabre Movement Manager —Summarized
From our experience, Sabre Movement Manager is an optimal operation control system from an operations real-time dashboard view. Connecting airlines that use Sabre Movement Manager to our product can usually be completed in a few days. That provides the possibility to concentrate on content and visual aspects instead of technical discussions everybody hates.