The benefits we have experienced so far have been huge. The production and transmission of electronic data to our electronic Flight Bag solution ensures we are using the most up-to-date information. It also makes us aware of any navigational airspace changes, and gives us performance data, much sooner when compared to our previous system.
Shaun Landy, Flight Operations Manager at Thomas Cook Airlines
Thomas Cook Airlines UK is one of the biggest leisure airlines in the country. The company launched in 2004, with the aim of making its seats accessible to all travellers, rather than just to passengers who had purchased package holidays. With a fleet of 31 aeroplanes flying from 20 UK airports, Thomas Cook Airlines carries over 6 million passengers a year to more than 60 destinations across Europe, North America, the Caribbean and India. The UK division of the company forms part of the wider travel group, which also includes Germany based Condor, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia.
Prior to working with Daisy, Thomas Cook Airlines’ administrative systems were mainly paper-based, with all parts of the flight navigation process being recorded manually. This process required a member of admin staff to visit each aircraft before take-off, in order to carry out the relevant paperwork – and then have it filed and transferred to Thomas Cook Airlines headquarters on a flight-by-flight basis.
In addition to this, before take-off for each flight, the pilot would have to transfer around 2Gb of pre and post flight data from the computer system in the cockpit onto a USB drive. The navigational data on these USB drives then had to be circulated to each airport in the UK on a monthly basis as part of the routine maintenance scheduling. These paper and USB data collection procedures were taking around three or four days to complete, and amounted to £500,000 each year in logistics and paper costs.
After hearing positive internal customer feedback from Thomas Cook Airlines’ Group Maintenance Organisation, a longstanding Daisy customer, Thomas Cook Airlines engaged Daisy to implement a mobile data solution to improve its flight navigation management. Daisy analysed Thomas Cook Airlines’ needs – taking personnel, resource and cost issues into account – and understood that the airline needed the solution to be available outside of the UK, while keeping the airline’s costs to a minimum. Daisy proposed a bespoke, all-inclusive, SIM-only European data tariff on the Vodafone network on a per SIM per month basis, making the costs more predictable for the airline.
A total of 610 connections were deployed to Thomas Cook Airlines’ UK-based staff.
Now equipped with tablet devices and a mobile data connectivity solution, Thomas Cook Airlines has reaped numerous benefits from working with Daisy. The airline has been able to replace USB drives and paper-based processes, enabling flight crews to send navigational data directly to air traffic control from the cockpit – making significant cost savings and resulting in a more efficient use of its employees’ time.
Although designed for over 500 Thomas Cook Airlines pilots, the Daisy tariff was also flexible enough to accommodate members of the senior management who travel regularly for business.
Commenting on the new solution from Daisy, Shaun Landy, Flight Operations Manager at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “The benefits we have experienced so far have been huge. The production and transmission of electronic data to our electronic Flight Bag solution ensures we are using the most up-to-date information. It also makes us aware of any navigational airspace changes, and gives us performance data, much sooner when compared to our previous system. The account management team at Daisy have been brilliant. Although the Daisy MyAccount system is very intuitive and simple to use, we have regular consultations and are offered whatever support and advice we need. The pricing was also very attractive and rivaled every other solution on the market, especially the European data tariffs, which Daisy was able to supply at a 40% reduction on the market rate.”
Having experienced the benefits of the Daisy solution, Thomas Cook Airlines is considering extending the current tariff to the European branches of the company – and it is hoped that, by the
end of 2016, all aircraft within the Group will be operating with Daisy’s mobile data solution.