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Enabling growth with IT

Published on  14 May by Kerem Kiziltunç , Senior Vice President & CIO, Turkish Airlines
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Turkish Airlines is among the longest established airlines in the world. We first started operations in 1933. But in the last 10 years, we’ve seen the most radical growth in our history.

In 2004, we flew to 73 cities, carrying roughly 10.4 million passengers. By 2014, we were flying to 261 destinations and carrying nearly 60 million passengers.

That’s a lot of growth in relatively short order. But we don’t plan to stop there. By 2020, we plan to have about 400 aircraft (up from 262 today), carrying 120 million passengers.

IT as enabler

This level of growth is energizing and welcome – and our IT strategy must help enable it.

To accommodate the growth strategy of our business, we started transforming our IT back in 2010, using a two-phased approach. In the first phase, from 2010-2013, we worked our way through several large-scale projects as well as hundreds of small improvements and medium-sized projects. We concentrated initially on flight planning, an area where we could achieve operational efficiency and cost-management results.

The second phase is essential to our customer offer and passenger experience. It includes the possible replacement of our in-house passenger services system (PSS). Before that, though, we’re pushing through an overhaul of our website, including enhanced mobile applications.

Other areas of development include our customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure, cargo revenue management and B2C portal, and a digital flight initiative that includes tablets for cockpit and aircraft crew.

On top of all that, we’re also building a new data center!

As you can see, our IT organization is key to enabling the growth strategy of our business. We have many large-scale programs, but there’s always a new disruptive technology coming around the corner. We need to have the flexibility to take them into account, to evaluate them. This means we as an IT organization cannot do everything ourselves. We need good partners whom we can trust, who are capable of understanding our needs, who can help us build on the track record we’re proud of.

To learn more about how IT is enabling growth for Turkish Airlines, read my interview in the latest Air Transport IT Review.

> Read the interview

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