14:30 | 19.11.21 | Articles | exclusive 24533

Optimal planning and millions of profit: SkySoft revolutionizes the airline industry

The epidemic revolutionized the work of a number of sectors. Among them is the airline industry, where companies had to reconsider their flight planning and scheduling strategies and introduce more innovative solutions. SkySoft offers a new solution to the problem which helps the airlines to optimize the process of planning and scheduling and generate hundreds of millions of profits.

The idea of SkySoft was born from the collaboration between Optym Armenia, an automation and optimization solution developer, and Amadeus, a global IT provider.

Itel.am spoke with Arthur Ghulyan, General Director of Optym Armenia and SkySoft, and Renzo Vaccari, Senior Vice President in charge of Sky Suite for Amadeus, about the prospects for new solutions offered to the airlines, as well as team building.

About Optym Armenia and Amadeus

Arthur Ghulyan: Optym company, which develops automation systems for decision making in transportation sector, has 20 years of experience in the market.

It has an R&D center in Armenia for already 14 years. Optym Armenia develops the most critical solutions. For example, the software for the mining industry, now successfully operating in Australia, was mostly developed in Armenia.

Renzo Vaccari: We are in the business of helping airlines to improve their efficiency, their performance, we work specifically in the area of network planning and scheduling and so helping them decide where to fly, when to fly, what to fly to be able to maximize their profit.
We have been working with Optym for 5 years. We were always looking for innovation, for new technology, and we find Optym a great partner in providing services for that.

Solution generating huge profit

Arthur: From November 1, Optym Armenia team, which worked on software for airline industry, has separated and has become a new company. We are talking about SkySoft, which specializes in software for airlines.

Arthur Ghulyan Arthur Ghulyan
photo © Mediamax

The airline industry is quite conservative and it is not easy to enter that field. Also, we are dealing with a very complex domain. However, it offers enormous opportunities for development. We managed to make those opportunities available in Armenia. We have a skilled team with years of experience, which is able to implement not only software, but also to understand the business, the domain, work with customers and create effective solutions.

Renzo: SkySoft is developing a software that helps airlines build better schedules. For big airlines like United Arlines, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, Air France Airlines, the value of a better schedule is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Renzo Vaccari Renzo Vaccari
photo © Mediamax

The schedule is basically the product that the airline is selling to its customers, so where to fly, what time to fly is going to drive the revenue potential, this is a critical area in terms of the value and profit that it generates.

Competitive and Promising

Arthur: Though the field is quite complicated and at the same time competitive, we succeeded to enter the market and occupy a rather good position. In particular, there are already several large international companies that use the solution we have proposed. Among them are Southwest Airlines, LATAM and easyJet. Thanks to the program, the generation of huge profits is not only our assessment, but is taken from real experience.

Profitable planning and trust

Arthur: SkySoft creates a product with cloud technologies, which solves the problems of planning and evaluating the schedules of different types of airlines.

Renzo: The idea is to reinvent how the airline solves the planning problem. We offer them how to do this with better technology, new algorithms, that allow airlines to rethink how to solve this problem.

Building the schedule is rather complicated mathematical problem, there are a lot of combinations. Airlines need to start with an existing schedule and then just make small changes. Our technology is totally different, it allows to build schedules from scratch every time, which allows to have better schedules which then transforms into millions of dollars profit.

Renzo Vaccari Renzo Vaccari
photo © Mediamax

It starts with not just profitable schedules, but also more reliable. So that when you sell a schedule you are making promise you will fly from point A to point B and you are going to get there on time. Our technology improves the reliability of the schedule, punctuality.

Team building

Arthur. As I said, entering the field is not easy. It requires many different professional skills, starting from understanding the domain to its proper management. Quite sophisticated algorithms and no less sophisticated software are used.

We plan to expand the team, which now consists of about 40 specialists. Now we are actively looking for both beginners who will grow with us, as well as experienced staff.

Arthur Ghulyan Arthur Ghulyan
photo © Mediamax

We have vacancies for Senior and higher level programmers, algorithm engineers. Working in SkySoft is special because a specialist must be able to combine excellent domain knowledge with technological knowledge. The value of such specialists in the market is rising, and he/she assumes a very important role for the company. The most important thing for companies today is to solve a business problem, understanding the needs of the customer.

Armenian talents

Renzo: The most important thing is the intellectual property, human capital, with which we manage to create these algorithms. We are always looking for better talent that is how we differentiate ourselves from the competitions, have better algorithms, better science and technology that is produced by talented people, and we are delighted and very happy with the experience in Armenia and the talent, we are excited to continue to grow  this team.

Arthur Ghulyan and Renzo Vaccari Arthur Ghulyan and Renzo Vaccari
photo © Mediamax

Innovation means to us solving the problem before the customer even knows they have a problem. But, to be able to do that you need to first understand the problem even better than your customers. We need a team that is self-sustainable and will provide the end-to-end process from the requirements definition,  software development, testing and deploying to  supporting customers after it is deployed.

Such a project is really necessary now because COVID has completely changed the field. COVID has forced airlines to operate in a totally different way, to be faster in terms of decision-making process. The solution we offer will help them navigate out of this situation.

Typically, new technology like this is limited to only the biggest airlines in the world and our mission is the opposite, to be able to build this technology and then deploy it to all airlines in the world, including  the smaller ones, so that everyone can have access to this new technology.

Gayane Yenokyan

Photos by Emin Aristakesyan