There’s always this one special moment when we discuss airline fuel management software with a potential client. That moment when a specific question is asked. And nope, this is not about pricing. The question is about implementation. How does it work? What’s the duration? How complex is it

Quite often, I stand in front of a group of people when these questions about airline fuel management software are asked. And you can see a mixture of faces, from anxious to curious and bugged. 

Implementation of IT projects still have a bad reputation. Same accounts for airline fuel management software. Expensive, complicated, time-intensive are just a few words I hear in that context.

And I guess that’s why this question is so unique in meetings. It’s not the price. A price is straight-forward, is fact-based, is negotiable. Contrary to implementation. From a client-point-of-view, implementation is nebulous, slippery, and hard to control.

Airline Fuel Management Software — A Definition First!

We know that the term “Airline Fuel Management Software” can have a thousand different meanings. That’s why we want to quickly explain how we define Airline Fuel Management Software in the context of this blog post.

For us, airline fuel management software describes a system that enables airlines to rely on a digital fueling process. Plus, that means that the entire fueling process chain at an airport is covered by such a system. That includes each process from the initial fuel order until the final provision of a receipt.

Here Are The Good News — Implementing An Airline Fuel Management Software Is Easier Than You Expect

So let’s put away all these negative thoughts. Actually, most of the airlines I’ve talked to are surprised when I give them the answer to the above questions. Moreover, they are flabbergasted when I outline the details about the implementation of fuel management software.

Implementing an airline fuel management software —in most cases— is super easy. Moreover, the effort for the airline is only little. Let’s quickly recap: A fuel management platform connects airlines and fuel providers. Accordingly, an implementation project aims to establish connectivity on both sides and seamless information flow.

In that context, we can separate four scenarios that mainly influence the implementation.

Scenario 1 — Everybody’s Ready

Definitely the most favorable scenario. What does it mean in detail? We talk about an “Everybody’s Ready” scenario when both the airline and the Into Plane Agent already operates a system that supports the AIDX message standard. Accordingly, that leads to the results that both players are ready for a digital aircraft refueling process.

LIDO is a prominent system used by many airlines that already supports the AIDX standard when it comes to airline systems. On the Into Plane, Agent-side SAP’s Skypad is an example of an AIDX-ready system. However, many other systems support the AIDX message standard too.

In that case, the implementation project simply consists of some configuration work and tests. Usually, the duration of such tests is 1-2 weeks. That’s it. That means configuring, testing, and let’s go live!

Scenario 2 — Connecting The Airline

A situation we encountered several times when setting up fuel management software with airlines is the following: The Into Plane Agent operates a solution that is “digital-refueling-ready”, but the airline lacks such a software.

But no worries, this isn’t a big issue. There are two options we can go for.

  • With the first one, the airline develops or acquires a software that supports the AIDX standard. However, this approach —usually— is cost-intensive and takes time.
  • The other alternative is in using the so-called “Pilot App” that comes with our airline fuel management software. In that case, there’s no need for additional development, testing, or configuration. And, by the way, many other providers offer a similar approach.

Accordingly, and similar to scenario 1, the implementation project simply consists of some configuration work and tests. Again, the duration of such tests is 1-2 weeks. That’s it. That means configuring, testing, and let’s go live!

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    Scenario 3 — Connecting The Into Plane Agent

    This scenario is the opposite of scenario number two. The airline operates a fuel management software that is ready for digital aircraft refueling, but the Into Plane Agent lacks such a software.

    So what happens in such a case. Usually, the airline coordinates with the Into Plane Agent and underpins the urgency of using an appropriate digital aircraft refueling solution. Accordingly, the Into Plane Agent has to take care of the implementation. The negative aspect of the scenario is that the airline is in control of the process. Conversely, the airline has to rely on the Into Plane Agent.

    Although the airline isn’t facing an additional investment, it is hard to forecast the project duration.

    Scenario 4 — We Start From Scratch

    Alright, here’s the worst case. Neither the airline nor the Into Plane Agent operates a solution that is ready for digital aircraft refueling. However, when taking a closer look at the scenario, it doesn’t differ widely from scenario number 3. Why’s that? Because the airline, again, can simply use the Pilot App that comes with the fuel management software. Subsequently, only the Into Plane Agent has to be connected separately.

    A Summary From An Airline’s Point-Of-View!

    From an airline’s perspective, technical implementation of digital aircraft refueling can be seen as a lean and swift process.

    In many cases, airlines already operate a system that is ready for digital aircraft refueling. If this is not the case, the Pilot App represents a ready-to-use alternative covering the entire fuel process. 

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    Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.