Air Malta operates a modern fleet of aircraft to more than 40 destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. The airline also offers travel to an additional 170 destinations through code-share partnerships with other airlines. To thrive in a competitive industry and exceed customer expectations, Air Malta embarked on a digital transformation journey with MuleSoft. Air Malta engaged MuleSoft consulting partner Ricston to build an application network using Anypoint Platform, connecting third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS), e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) and airline booking systems.
“Air Malta recently reported profitability for the first time after two decades, growing operating revenue by €5.3 million to €197.5 million in the last fiscal year,” said Alan Talbot, CIO, Air Malta. “Technology investment has been a critical driver of this success, with MuleSoft at the center. With Anypoint Platform, we have created a sandbox for innovation across the organization without affecting core operations. MuleSoft provides a unified platform that enables even non-technical personnel to quickly create integrations. By democratizing access to data from legacy systems and across our enterprise, we are able to create new operational efficiencies and identify opportunities to better serve our customers.”
The Airline Industry Is on a Turbulent Ride to Digitize
According to the recent Connectivity Benchmark Report, 59 percent of IT leaders say their legacy infrastructure makes it hard to introduce new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data and the internet of things (IoT). Airlines are struggling to innovate, operate efficiently and offer personalized services. With valuable data trapped across siloed legacy systems, the industry is challenged to access the right information at the right time to move faster and deliver on customer demands. Its aging IT infrastructure is no longer fit to operate in the modern digital world, hampering growth and profitability.
“We couldn’t afford to stand still and remain as we were. We needed to change our business and IT operating model to survive,” said Talbot. “Technology has become the ultimate enabler for the business, so we can drive and create change. MuleSoft’s hybrid integration platform with API capabilities allows us to connect to the latest cloud technologies and differentiate our services.”
MuleSoft Provides Air Malta the Foundation for Speed and Innovation
By developing an application network of reusable APIs, Air Malta is able to distribute its commercial relations and flight operations information more effectively and securely within the organization and with partners. For example, Anypoint Platform empowered Air Malta to improve customer service through a closer integration among the airline’s reservation system, e-commerce platforms and its Salesforce instance. This connectivity enables sales staff to easily roll out joint offers with other airlines, provide customers with the most relevant “just-in-time” information, and make modifications to flight arrangements faster.
One of Air Malta’s significant projects was the introduction of best-of-breed flight planning solutions from Lufthansa to optimize route planning, improve flight operations management and handle reservations more quickly. Previously, it would have taken 18 months to deploy the solutions. Instead, it took one-third of the time with reusable APIs built on Anypoint Platform. Similarly, Air Malta used some of the existing APIs to integrate with Ryanair, one of the biggest airline brands in Europe. The integration allows Air Malta to sell its flights from the Ryanair website and meet customers where they are. The project took only 11 weeks, reducing the standard delivery timeline by almost two-thirds.
Air Malta’s Application Network Opens Up New Opportunities in the API Economy
According to Talbot, “We want to launch a platform to help anyone who wants to do business with us. MuleSoft allows us to leverage the API economy to broaden our reach in a hugely competitive market. With an application network built on Anypoint Platform, we can securely share our data on inventory, services and products to any company that wants to work with us.”
Over the next few years, Talbot aims to turn the IT department from a cost center into a profit center. The ability to leverage API monetization and add new digital channels will be crucial to Air Malta’s goal to create sustainable growth. Air Malta will use MuleSoft to develop a fully integrated, omnichannel platform, using the same approach for integrating into Ryanair’s website with pluggable APIs.
Air Malta is also looking to continue to add new technologies and services to widen its competitive edge. Talbot expects emerging technologies, such as AI, machine learning and blockchain, to support efforts in personalizing customer experiences, with Anypoint Platform at the center to make them all work together.