Cathay Pacific AWS Case Study

Cathay Pacific AWS Case Study

Cathy Pacific NDC

The Airline

Cathay Pacific Airways is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport. The airline’s operations and subsidiaries have scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 190 destinations in more than 60 countries worldwide including codeshares and joint ventures.

In 2019, Cathay Pacific carried more than 35 million passengers worldwide.

The Challenge

The airline business is characterised by fierce competition and low margins. The concept of travel retailing is fuelling a revolution in airlines deliver value to their customers at the same time as delivering higher margins through the sales of ancillaries such as bags, hotels and car hire. The most profitable market segment in travel retailing is holidays. Cathay Pacific relaunched the Cathay Pacific Holidays brand to leverage the globally respected Cathay Pacific brand. In return, the Cathay Pacific airline would benefit from selling more seats as a result of dynamic merchandising strategies, and together the tour operator and the airline would be able to return increased profits to the overall business.

Cathay Pacific Holidays deployed the OpenJaw t-Retail Platform to realise the possibilities of dynamic packaging and bundling that connects to multiple inventory sources, such as the airline PSS; Hotel, Car, and Activity providers. The t-Retail Platform provides business users with fine grained Product Management capabilities, such as: supplier management, product display order, margins, commission, mark ups, discounts and promotions. All inventory availability is dynamically sourced and priced in real-time.

The Background

At Cathay Pacific, the original production deployments & cutover times were a very slow and tedious process. This process involved many manual steps and a high risk of human error. In addition, it required a large operational overhead – managing security, load-balancers, server, domain certificates, logs storage, housekeeping etc., on a very regular basis.

The nature of Cathay Pacific Holiday business requires continuous rollout of services to new markets, increasing the risk of error every time a new deployment was scheduled. In addition, the previous cloud-based vendor had significant outages, meaning far too much downtime and lost bookings.

The Project

AWS enables airlines to rapidly build, deliver, and iterate innovative products and services. AWS allows airlines to provision and manage infrastructure, code, and automatic updates, so they can spend more time predicting and adapting to rapidly changing market trends and operational developments.

For OpenJaw and Cathay Pacific, the challenge was to minimise risk during set-up and cutover, while reducing overhead cost on an ongoing basis. As a partner to Amazon Web Services, OpenJaw moved Cathay’s environment into AWS CloudFormation, giving greater reliability and speedier development rollouts.

Moving to AWS CloudFormation eliminated to need for manual intervention, decreasing the risk of human error, therefore reducing overhead costs.

The Benefits

OpenJaw now manage two separate platforms for Cathay Pacific (offered through multiple channels such as Web, Mobile, Service Agents, and the latest, NDC). Moving to AWS and availing of the above services (such as CloudFormation, EC2, ELB, EFS) has allowed us to now adopt a smoother, easier, automated Blue/Green release deployment model.

Using Certificate Manager, S3 and WAF has dramatically reduced the operational overheads in maintaining the sites.

The result of the cutover to Amazon AWS for Cathay Pacific Holidays was a total success for OpenJaw, Cathay Pacific – and Cathay Pacific Holiday customer. Cathay can now deliver more functionality to their customers, with quicker time to market as well as easily managing data to optimise operations.

Services Used:
• AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall)
• AWS S3 (Logs Storage)
• AWS Certificate Manager
• AWS CloudWatch
• AWS CloudFormation (Environment creation)
• AWS CLI (Manual node failover functions)
• AWS Elastic Load Balancing (Application LBs)
• AWS Elastic File System (Shared runtime files)
• AWS Lambda
• AWS Route 53
• AWS SES – Simple Email Service
• AWS VPN Virtual Private Cloud

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