Timothy O’Neil-Dunne of Air Black Box accepts the WITovation Editor’s Choice award from WIT founder and organiser Siew Hoon Yeoh.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Air Black Box Wins WITovation 2016 Editor’s Choice Award
SINGAPORE, 18 Oct. 2016 — Air Black Box has won the 2016 WITovation Editor’s Choice Award for innovative technology that allows airlines to connect with partner airlines for interlining, alliances and cooperative product sales.
Air Black Box was founded four years ago with the simple goal of “connecting airlines sell stuff.” It has been credited with providing the software that made newly formed airline alliances like Asia’s Value Alliance a reality.
Accepting the WIT awards ceremony at the Marina Bay Sands & Expo in Singapore was Timothy O’Neil-Dunne, an Air Black Box founder.
WIT has become the largest travel industry conference in the Asia Pacific region, itself a region that encompasses 60% of the world’s population.
Airline representatives say the newly formed Value Alliance — made up of Cebu Pacific, JejuAir, Nok, NokScoot, Scoot, Tigerair Australia and Tigerair Singapore and Vanilla Air — is not only powered by Air Black Box technology, but would not have been possible without it.
The Value Alliance has a combined fleet of 176 aircraft servicing 160 destinations and in 2015 flew 47 million passengers.
O’Neil-Dunne said that since signing its first clients earlier this year, “Air Black Box has established absolute market leadership” with a series of B2B and B2C tools and platform that provide its airlines’ clients with efficiencies and cost benefits that were simply not available until now.
Airlines, particularly in Asia, have been quick to adopt Air Black Box’s Air Connection Engine (ACE) technology. It has allowed them to quickly and dramatically extend their route network through strategic partnerships. He said Air Black Box has more airlines close to release and many more in the pipeline.
O’Neil-Dunne said “innovation from airlines comes from product” and that airlines have been constrained by their reservation and distribution technologies. He said Air Black Box frees airlines from these constraints, allowing them to bring full products to their customers — their own and their partners’ services.
“Air Black Box’s ACE allows any airline reservation system to connect to any other airline system in days rather than years — irrespective of size or complexity. The number of airlines that have committed to using the Air Black Box platform is a testament to its utility.
“It’s the right technology for the right time, and there’s nothing else like it,” O’Neil-Dunne said. “We have, if you will, re-imagined the process of airline retailing, starting with the most difficult of all airline products: interlining and multi-carrier connectivity.”
The company, which has multiple patents pending on its technology, says it has designed a new customer-experience engine based on the airline’s brand and its products, rather than just its operational capabilities.
“Our booking system allows any type of airline to quickly and easily create an interline agreement with any other airline — or any number of airlines,” O’Neil-Dunne said.
He said no limits are placed on airline size, whether it operates national or internationally, whether it is low-cost or full-service, ticket or ticketless.
The reason for that, O’Neil-Dunne said, is that Air Black Box completely sidesteps the “complex and highly restrictive nature” of Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) or Passenger Service Systems (PSSs) standard commercial frameworks. It is not in the business of competing with its airline partners in customer acquisition, he said. “We are a software provider to airlines and their partners.”
“Air Black Box now has a proven track record of aligning disparate products and services. Airlines can sell more existing product — ancillaries in particular. Or they can create new product bundles and cross-sell products on partner airlines.”
And like its low-cost airline partners, he said, the Air Black Box business model is simple in its pricing structure and offers considerable savings over traditional interline methods.
About Air Black Box
Air Black Box was founded four years ago with an idea that has become the Air Connection Engine (ACE) platform. Based in the United Kingdom and with a publicly announced joint venture with Singapore Airlines, Air Black Box has in 24 months grown from its original core group of five employees to 40.
Air Black Box says it has a strong, multi-disciplinary team that has proven experience building large-scale, reliable, industrial-grade systems. The company’s executive team has top credentials in the travel industry.
The company says its team speaks “airline” and is global in its view and approach. Taken as a whole, the team encompasses 12 languages and its members have lived on five continents, company literature says.
Benefits for Airlines
O’Neil-Dunne said the Air Black Box platform is flexible and does not require or force an airline to change anything in its product range, technology or marketing strategy.
“An airline can form an alliance with another while maintaining complete control over its inventory, its pricing, its marketing, its branding — everything.” In addition, he said an airline can select a turn-key solution from any or all of 13 languages, be they latin or double-byte character sets.
Company literature states: “The Air Black Box platform can easily align disparate airline products and create viable itineraries by merging two or more sources of inventory. The process is invisible to the end user; the airline’s existing online reservation system looks the same, it just includes more product.
“It is interlining without the usual development cycle and cost of ‘traditional’ interlining methods. Uniquely, the Air Black Box platform allows airlines to cross-sell, merchandise and integrate their partners’ products within their sales environment and to their unique customers, thus creating a unified buying experience for each airline’s brand rather than forcing everyone to conform to a single model of services.
“The airline’s ability to form these alliances means that a small or regional or low-cost carrier can very quickly grow its market footprint and become part of a much larger network of interconnected and cooperating carriers.
“The traveller can now go to his preferred airline brand and access a much broader range of products and destinations. The Air Black Box ACE platform assembles viable and complex travel itineraries in real-time. There’s one point of purchase in any number of currencies and a single itinerary encompasses tickets and ticketless bookings issued simultaneously on cooperating airlines.”
Benefits for Travellers
“The traveller can now go to his preferred airline brand and access a much broader range of products and destinations,” company literature says. “The Air Black Box ACE platform assembles viable and complex travel itineraries in real-time. There’s one point of purchase in any number of currencies and a single itinerary encompasses tickets and ticketless bookings issued simultaneously on cooperating airlines.”
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