Aviation group Star Alliance says it’s going all-in on Amazon’s cloud

  • 14/12/2020

Amazon Web Services Inc. rolled out another marquee customer early today, kicking off the third and final week of its virtual re:Invent event by announcing that Star Alliance is going all-in on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure.

Star Alliance, which is the world’s largest aviation industry alliance with 26 airlines, said it’s moving its entire information technology infrastructure to Amazon’s cloud. The move will reduce its IT infrastructure total cost of ownership by 25%, it said, while helping it become a more agile organization with better IT performance.

Star Alliance said it’s working with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. to facilitate the move, which involves migrating all of its data, platforms and business-critical applications to Amazon’s cloud. The Alliance will then close down its on-premises data centers and be able to take advantage of Amazon services such as Amazon Elastic Container Service with Amazon Fargate, a serverless compute engine for containerized apps, to create new services designed to make travel safer and easier for passengers.

One example is an existing baggage tracking application that uses the Amazon Aurora database service to process data from multiple baggage systems and create a centralized reporting system for airline customer service agents to track bags at airports across the world. Star Alliance has also created a “Star Alliance Inter Airline Through Check-in Hub” app that makes it possible for passengers to check-in and receive boarding passes for journeys with multiple stops when using more than one airline.

There’s also a new Transfer Decision Tool for airlines that helps them manage “at-risk flight connections” — those that need to be facilitated quickly by getting passengers and their bags onto connecting flights in the shortest possible time.

More important, Star Alliance said, the move to AWS will help it to meet the changing demands of worldwide air travel that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When travel restrictions came into effect across the globe earlier this year, Star Alliance reduced its infrastructure footprint and spending by 30% immediately just by scaling down its use of AWS.

“We decided to go all-in on AWS to gain the reliability and scalability we needed to support the
increasing number of global travelers joining the alliance each year, but the pandemic also proved
how valuable it is to have a flexible and agile infrastructure in the cloud,” said Jeremy Drury, Star Alliance’s head of digital technology. “No one could have predicted what has happened so far in 2020, but because of our collaboration with AWS, we were able to quickly adjust our goals and scale back our expenses.”