Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Easyjet beware, state of Flybe’s IT systems up in the air

Struggling UK airline Flybe has unusually announced it is up for sale following extremely poor performance, losing £19.2m last year alone. Multiple companies are interested in a purchase, including easyJet, who are looking to purchase part of the company, and Stobart which is looking for a full acquisition having already been in a partnership with Flybe through Stobart Air.

Despite poor numbers, the complex IT systems aviation depends on can offer considerable value. However, although Stobart may be purchasing from an informed position as a partner, easyJet has no prior knowledge of the state of systems its looking to buy and could be taking a big gamble.

CAST, a leading Software Intelligence platform, believes potential buyers such as easyJet should gain maximum insight into the structure of any acquired software platforms before making an offer. Understanding the underlying software prior to purchase can prevent IT disrupting business as has plagued larger carriers, minimizing long-term costs as well as customer frustration and time-to-market.

Lev Lesokhin, EVP of Strategy & Analytics at CAST made the following comments  :

“It is key for easyJet, and also Stobart Air, to gain deep insight into Flybe’s software and analyze database structures in order to identify issues in aged or lengthy software code which have the potential to cause outages, security breaches or corrupt data.

All of these could too easily lead to mounting costs from failed mergers. More worryingly, it could also mean customer frustration after acquisition if systems do not perform around the clock as they are expected to.”

“Many companies are challenged after M&A by a lack of knowledge of the software systems they’ve acquired. This is particularly prevalent in aviation however due to the juggling act companies have to play with systems for controlling gates, reservations, ticketing and more.

Underlying, and perhaps hidden, software complexity not only costs airlines billions of dollars when it fails but also exposes customers’ data to malicious activity. Software Intelligence is key in understanding the condition and value of the software structure prior to making an offer, and we’ve seen our customers reduce or alter their offers after gaining insight into software complexity from Software Intelligence.”