CIO

British Airways to leverage SOA in travel system upgrade

Synchronisation means reduction in data replication

UK airline British Airways will use Progress Software’s SOA solutions suite as part of its travel program to upgrade its IT systems until the end of 2014.

The project aims to integrate more than 600 different electronic systems and processes involved in getting BA passengers on flights.

British Airways CTO Gordon Penfold says the flexibility of the SOA portfolio will allow the airline to extend the features of its e-commerce site through to its airports and enable greater self-service functionality and “plug-and-play capability”.

BA has 300 locations around the world, 25,000 users and more than 250 applications. The main goal of the transformation project is a more agile business where service rollout is easier, and cost and time is reduced.

“The airport environment is complex and the systems are mission critical,” Penfold says. “Moving this to a highly automated environment is a challenge, but SOA quickly proved itself to be the right approach to achieving our goal of a fully agile environment.”

According to Penfold, the new SOA infrastructure is more flexible and the organisation is looking to roll out new services more quickly.

“At the same time, real-time data synchronisation means information quality is improved and costs are saved thanks to reduction in data replication,” he says.

A more flexible and integrated IT infrastructure means BA is positioned to extend its ba.com portal to providing fully Web-enabled passenger manifests.