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Travel Industry Scheduling System

In the travel and airline industry, Synerzip has expert level domain knowledge on the following:

  • IATA’s SSIM, ASM/SSM, SCR protocols
  • CodeShare, wet-lease, interline partner agreements between Airlines
  • OTA (Open Travel Alliance) web service protocols
  • Domain knowledge over hotels, flights, cars, product development
  • SOA architecture for developing travel and hospitality products
  • GDS integration with Airlines

Synerzip’s expertise in the travel industry helped a client with airline schedule publication, codeshares and messaging for schedule changes in conformance with IATA’s communication standards. Synerzip helped this startup company build a product from the ground up, which is now being preferred over slow and rigid legacy scheduling systems by airlines all over the world.
Publication process involves the following:

  • Schedule Import
  • Building line of flight
  • Creating and applying publication rules based on business dynamics
  • Exporting the published schedule
  • Combining multiple airlines schedules
  • Real time messaging of schedule changes as per SSM/ASM

Codeshare between airlines involves the following:

  • Designing algorithms to identify the best possible connecting flights to maximize profitability
  • Determining best possible markets for partnership by evaluating Hub-Spoke model of partner airlines

Overview of Scheduling System

The lifeline of an airline is its scheduling system. After analyzing various markets and competitors, an airline’s strategy is to plan a schedule, which will maximize their revenue considering various constraints. Once the planning is done, it comes down to assigning appropriate fleet of flights for the required/targeted market.

With the scheduling system, new flights can be added for the desired markets, or any existing schedule can be imported and modification can be done on the already published or previous season schedules.

Features in scheduling systems:

  • Allows to raise the slot clearance request with the airport authorities
  • Edit existing flights
  • Add new flights
  • Create publication rules to be applied on the new schedule
  • Publish a SSIM file with the new rules on the schedule.

This SSIM file is sent to PSS, GDS, Crew and Operation teams. Each SSIM file may differ in the rule application for a particular team.

Challenges & Solutions:

Some challenges to the project include understanding the air travel domain, which was not only complicated but also very process oriented. The team did R&D with the IATA SIMM manual and published literature about airline schedule planning; to be comfortable with the domain.

Understanding the normalization and preparing the ideal aircraft view was a difficult task.

Applying the publication rules or using the rule processor was a tedious job. The team found the solution by writing the algorithms for the User Rules Processing Engine.

The team tested the application in different time zones. For example, a flight took off on 1st Jan 2016 from Tokyo and landed in Honolulu on 31st to celebrate New Year’s Eve again. The solution had to handle flight scenarios which cross IDL (International Date Line).

Results:

Automation testing of ExtJS application was accomplished with Selenium. BDD driven regression testing was accomplished using Cucumber JVM.

The Synerzip team successfully implemented SCRUM for delivery of various features. Despite several challenges, the team managed to deliver on time. The team rigorously followed all SCRUM meetings such as backlog grooming, sprint planning, sprint review and sprint retrospective. This made sure that agile methodology is put in action.

Technologies Used:

Frontend – ExtJS
Backend – NodeJS
Database – MongoDB
Bug Tracking – JIRA
Testing Automation Framework – Selenium
Test Reports – Cucumber Plugin

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