Shanghai Airlines runs advanced reservation system based on fault-tolerant Stratus Computers.
Shanghai Airlines is China's largest regional airline and serves one million passengers in southern China annually. The Stratus-based solution enables the airline's sales offices and independent travel agents to electronically book, sell, and ticket flight reservations. With the new system, the airline can sell more seats, provide faster and more reliable customer service, reduce operational costs, and customize reservation services. The system replaces the airline's manual paper-based reservation processing.
The network is based on client/server distributed computing, unlike traditional centralized reservation systems running on mainframe computers. A fault-tolerant Stratus computer located in Shanghai acts as the central server and, eventually, will share information and applications with client Stratus systems to be installed in regional locations. By year-end, the system will be linked to other airline reservation networks. The Stratus-based server also is linked to another Stratus computer that handles back-office administration.
"Privatization of China's airline industry has created opportunities and competition for Shanghai Airlines," noted He Peng Nian, Shanghai Airlines' chairman. "Being able to handle greater reservation volumes in real time increases passenger capacity on flights, which in turn generates more revenue. The system's client/server, distributed design also will enable us to quickly tailor our services, such as lowering fares, to reflect the latest market requirements."
Stratus, acting as the prime contractor, supplied Shanghai Airlines with the continuously available Stratus computers. Sutra (Newburyport, Mass.), an airline industry technology firm, served as a Stratus subcontractor providing overall system architecture and application design, consulting, and project management. Hui Da (Beijing), a software programming firm, supplied applications development under a subcontractor agreement with Stratus. The Jia Tong University (Shanghai) provided technical consulting to Shanghai Airlines in selecting its system.
With a distributed network, the system will allow sales agents to continue serving customers even if communication to one of the Stratus computers is interrupted. The system also will reduce telecommunications costs by enabling agents to access the nearest Stratus system rather than always communicating with the central server.
"Stratus' fault-tolerant computers combined with distributing applications across several systems will help us improve customer service by providing uninterrupted reservation processing," he added.
"Shanghai Airlines' Stratus installation underscores the growing market need for an affordable, flexible in-house solution that avoids the much larger up-front investment required by traditional mainframe reservation systems," said Robert C. Hooper, Stratus' vice president of emerging markets. "Through a client/server, distributed design, the solution also will provide the airline with more control over defining and customizing its services compared to shared reservation networks, which must satisfy the requirements of many airlines."
Based in Marlboro, Mass., Stratus Computer Inc. is a leading provider of comprehensive computer solutions for critical online environments. Stratus and its subsidiaries offer a broad range of continuously available computer platforms, application software, middleware, and professional services. The company markets its systems and solutions to a range of industries in more than 60 countries.
CONTACT: Stratus Computer Inc.
Pam Laufer, 508/460-2952 or
Paul LaBelle, 508/460-2068