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Customer Story

Reservation Systems Upgrade Keeps Volotea Passengers Flying

Europe’s leading low-cost airline implemented a GDS update to ensure its booking engine continued to be highly available to passengers

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Travel | Hospitality

PGS Software | Part of Xebia

Volotea, the airline of European mid and small-sized cities, offers direct flights at very competitive prices. Since its creation in April 2012, Volotea has carried more than twenty-two million passengers across Europe and over six million in 2018. In 2019, Volotea operated 319 routes among more than eighty medium and small-sized cities in thirteen countries. The airline partners with Navitaire, a global distribution system (GDS), to use its product New Skies: a digital-first reservation, retailing and e-commerce platform that specializes in serving the low-cost short-haul sector.

Volotea needed to majorly upgrade its flight reservation system in line with travel industry partners
A complete rebuild, including libraries and data store, with full testing, was required
The new system was released on time with little disruption, allowing Volotea to maintain continuity

Major Rebuild for Trusted Technology Partners

Volotea’s GDS partner Navitaire regularly updates the New Skies reservation system to ensure performance, availability and security remain high, as well as to incorporate new features. Therefore airline companies such as Volotea need to keep their platforms upgraded to match each new version as it is released.

With the New Skies 4.2 update, Volotea knew it needed to rebuild and test every single element of the new system to ensure compatibility and keep the airline available through the major distribution channels. Xebia was already a trusted partner, with detailed airline domain knowledge and more than a hundred projects already realized with Volotea, and so its team of developers and testers was mobilized to help implement the system update.

A Complex Solution, Quality Assured

To ensure a smooth transition to Navitaire’s new system, Volotea had to tackle many complex technological aspects. Initially the team identified all services that would be affected by the upgrade, and then updated the relevant libraries, redeploying the applications in the new environments. The Operational Data Store was then successfully migrated to the new platform. This was executed in several phases: planning, pre-migration, migration, and post-migration.

The Quality Assurance team played an important role throughout, pre-planning test scenarios for system functionalities before the upgrade began, and then implementing them for all existing web and backend functions. This ensured a risk-free migration and application health across the new system, and the team continued to monitor the logs after post-completion.

“Xebia has been one of our main technology partners since 2013 and so in terms of the New Skies upgrade we had to go through, we knew they would deliver on every level, including methodology, development and quality assurance. They didn’t let us down.”
Alex Rodriguez IT Director, Volotea

Reservation System Efficiently Launched

The upgrades needed to happen unnoticed by Volotea’s end users, which is tricky as the website is potentially always in use. Any downtime that might occur needed to happen at night, as briefly as possible. Xebia’s team worked efficiently through the night to meet this demand, and the live release of New Skies 4.2 was launched as planned, at precisely six in the morning, with minimal user disruption.

With the new platform, Volotea hugely improved the reservation system, with the airline realizing its aims of continuous improvement and the highest standard of customer service. Furthermore, the QA test scenarios are reusable with any future upgrades, meaning a cheaper, more efficient process next time around.

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