Britannia Airways is saving £2m a year by giving laptops and PDAs to pilots and cabin crew, and moving from paper-based manual processes to electronic documentation.
The charter airline wanted to introduce more efficient working methods and cut back on the heavy paper manuals it carried on each flight.
"We were drowning under paperwork," Iain Andrew, chief information officer at Britannia, told vnunet.com. "We found 600 paper forms in our organisation. We looked at a lot of processes and it was obvious we were not working in the slickest way."
The project was broken into four stages, covering the airports from which it operates, its Luton head office, cabin crew and pilots.
The airline began by rolling out Open Text's Livelink document management workflow software in its Luton office, then across the organisation and to some suppliers. With 50 major workflows now in place - due to reach 100 by the end of December - the airline has saved £500,000 a year.
Offices at Gatwick and Manchester airports were automated, and staff trained to use Livelink. The software means forms are filled out electronically and flight packs are no longer put together manually, saving each crew member about 20 minutes before each flight.
Pilots were given a kevlar-jacketed, wireless-enabled IBM laptop (although wireless cannot be used during flight), which communicates with the Livelink software from the cockpit, cutting down on the printed documentation taken on board.
The laptops come with software to work out engine thrust for takeoff, reducing engine wear. The software also lets pilots calculate whether they have spare capacity to carry commercial, revenue-generating cargo.
This will save some £437,000 a year, much of that from carrying fewer paper manuals on board.
Robust Casio PDAs have been given to cabin crew, again reducing the paper trail and saving about £1m a year.
Each PDA includes software for flight rosters, information on duty free items, meal details and seating plans. The device can double as a point-of-sale machine, synchronising with a mini-printer and card swipe for credit card transactions.
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