Kevin May has picked up a great story in writing about some recent comments from Amadeus executive Tim Russell regarding aging airline IT systems. He is right on the money talking about the increase in transactions per booking, and this is a trend that has been growing year by year due to two related trends. First, the migration to the online channel, and then secondly, the increasing desire to have calendar faring displays and other ways of displaying much more availability and pricing information per page online than ever occurred in the old days of the green screen travel agency terminal. New caching technology such as that used by Affinity Shopper or TravelTainment should go part of the way towards halting, or maybe even reversing this trend of increased transactions per booking. But then some new and innovative online ideas will no doubt come up to increase the ratio again, so investments in the data centre will continue to rise.

When I first read the following paragraph from Kevin I thought he was implying Amadeus was actually heavily reliant on old technology; those familiar with the massive effort on TPF decommissioning would know this is simply not true. But then I read it a second time, and it is not actually Amadeus, but “the airline industry” that is using systems “put together decades ago.”

The reason why Amadeus speaks out so strongly against the airline industry is because three areas of its technology – reservations, inventory and gate despatch – are built on systems put together decades ago.

The post on Tnooz was definintely very well timed, as around the same time or very soon after, news came out that both Canada’s Jazz and Air New Zealand suffered from major computer outages. The latter pointing the finger at IBM – never a nice position to be in as a technology vendor.