Irish firm’s software to power Australian low fare airline

15 Apr 2004

Technology developed by Irish software firm Eland Technologies, acquired last year for an undisclosed sum by global aviation IT giant SITA, will be deployed by Australian low fare airline Virgin Blue to help it connect seamlessly to the Australian government’s visa and passport systems.

Eland Technologies, now known as SITA Information Networking Computing (INC) Ireland, has been operating in the travel industry in Ireland since 1990 and employs more than 60 employees in Dublin and in Donegal. Prior to being acquired by SITA Information Computing, enjoyed average turnover growth of 38pc per annum over the last three to four years. Eland’s Runway travel application integration platform is recognised as the most widely used middleware of its class in the travel industry and has been deployed at Lufthansa, Sabre, Star Alliance, United Airlines and American Airlines.

Registered in Amsterdam, SITA is the world’s largest IT provider to the airlines industry and in 2002 recorded revenues of US$697m. Under the terms of the deal signed last year, Eland became part of SITA’s passenger and travel solutions business unit, widely regarded as a leading provider of web-based applications and e-commerce integration services for the travel and transport sector.

In the deal signed with Virgin Blue, Eland’s Runway technology will enable the carrier to meet the strict security requirements of the Australian government, specifically the provision of detailed passenger information to the Australian Advance Passenger Processing System (APPS). If a passenger does not have a valid Australian visa or valid Australian or New Zealand passport the system issues passenger-boarding directives to the airline in real time. Eland’s Runway technology enables Virgin Blue to quickly and easily integrate its check-in system to APPS.

Bobby Healy, head of SITA INC Ireland, added: “Runway has proven to cut costs and is already a phenomenal success, in use with major airlines, alliances and low-cost carriers alike to rapidly link different systems and applications. We are very pleased to be working with Virgin Blue and the Australian government and to have met all the mandatory requirements in record time.”

By John Kennedy