Case Study | Travel Transportation Hospitality and Logistics

How a Oneworld Alliance airline reduced processing costs and fast-tracked reporting with intelligent automation.

Services Revenue Accounting and Revenue Assurance
Industry Travel
JANUARY 24, 2024

The Challenge

Optimizing Financial Admin Processes at Scale

Five-star airlines prompt high customer expectations. They need to offer a seamless experience that starts long before the plane taxis down the runway.

One of the best in the game, this global Middle East-based airline delighted its customers in the air. But its financial admin processes on the ground were still lagging.

Their existing system created a high volume of exceptions for manual clearance making it difficult to meet the stringent SLAs. Manual processing led to a high rate of errors and omissions. And because it processed data in batches, it held everything up when one transaction was flagged.

They also failed to fully automate varied interline partnerships, creating delays to settlements. And perhaps most troublingly, the system’s handling of taxes struggled to adapt to varying requirements across geographies, sparking potential risk.

This airline needed to accelerate passenger sales data delivery to better manage price, capacity, and route planning while minimizing manual efforts. They also required comprehensive auditing to optimize tax compliance, mitigate revenue leakage, and tighten up fare management. Continued automation was key to this, but they had to revolutionize their existing platform. Thus, Sutherland was brought on board.

The Outcome

Establishing Continued Automation to Accelerate and Enhance Financial Data Flows

Our first priority was to minimize the manual efforts involved. Sutherland implemented altraPRA to automate the processing of all sales data while accelerating the data flow, so 99% of all daily sales transactions were reported within 48 hours. This reduced passenger revenue accounting costs by 32% in the first year alone, while the faster data flow enabled agile pricing decisions for commercial teams while reducing accounting costs across the network.

Then, it was time to transform the cash application process at scale, including breaking down transactions to support receipt posting requirements. We helped to fully automate the receipting for credit card process to further lower operating costs. As a result, the airline could centralize their operations, cutting staffing costs considerably.

A comprehensive transaction auditing system was introduced to quickly address a large chunk of revenue leakage, helping spot nearly double the number of fare price violations from agents. Continuous automation also accelerated revenue declaration and extended to the airline’s various interline settlements, reducing delayed processes and boosting 1.2x faster cash realization from interline.

The real-time availability of sales and revenue data meant this airline could manage pricing decisions better and boost sales. Plus, stringent auditing ensured consistent global tax compliance.

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