Ground Handling Application

Improving the everyday workflow of SAS ground handling personnel

SAS partnered with Stockholm-based software developer Objective Solutions to develop a brand new, platform independent ground handling application. Tasks that previously had to be performed in Amadeus Altea on a desktop computer can now be performed on a mobile device, or any other platform, greatly improving staff mobility and flexibility. By allowing agents to "roam" the airport it is possible to reduce queues and speed up passenger processing.

Maximizing airline efficiency

SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) is Scandinavia’s leading airline, carrying more than 30 million passengers on 170 aircraft annually, with 125 destinations in Europe, US and Asia. As a pioneering digital innovator, SAS has a digital infrastructure strategy to streamline operations, increase staff mobility, give customers a better traveling experience and maintain profitability. Airlines gain a lot on automation and mobility in order to streamline and make the whole boarding process simpler and easier for their ground handlers and passengers. Everything can be solved on the iPad or Android device and the mobility saves a lot of time. The floor walker can manage their tasks were it is most convenient for them to be.

Why Objective?

Achieving the necessary efficiencies and cost savings relied on fast, accurate, reliable software integrations to support all features in order to be able to increase the mobility. SAS selected Objective Solutions because of a long-standing partnership. Objective always delivers high quality customized products with short delivery times. The first version of the Ground Handling app was already in production within 10 weeks of ordering, which must be seen as unique for software in the aviation industry given the heavy integrations required against existing systems and infrastructure.

Mobile devices serve our digital strategy to create more efficient processes.
Sören Fredriksson
IT Project Manager, SAS

The app

Mobile Boarding

The SAS Ground Handling App allows gate agents to check in and board passengers at any location. No longer confined to podiums, gate agents can use a smartphone for check-in, boarding rebooking, cancellation and more, resulting in faster boarding and an improved experience for the passengers, while simultaneously reducing floor space costs.

Since Objective has its own in-house UX design and graphical design team the application will provide a state of the art user experience. The application is intuitive and self-explanatory, in order to minimize training requirements for the staff. Employees now scan boarding passes and passports using the mobile app anywhere in the airport. The app is also used as an important fall back for boarding during busy times or if airport equipment malfunctions. With the help of the app, SAS has to some extent removed the dependence on available infrastructure delivered by the airport operator.

The SAS Ground Handling App has resulted in more efficient scanning, reduced costs and better customer experience. SAS have fewer agents but give a superior customer service with employees using a single mobile app to quickly manage all tasks that previously needed access to a counter at the airport and desktop computer.

The Ground Handling App has seen rapid adoption by employees and has allowed for significant cost savings on scanners. Within only 10 weeks from the first Ground Handling app was deployed in production and used at Copenhagen airport (CPH). The employees are very happy with the application and believe the it reduces their stress level and average workload. With the high performance app, employees process tasks more quickly, especially at peak times. For example scanning is fast and accurate, even at difficult angles, in bad lighting or when barcodes are damaged. The SAS Ground Handling App has been deployed to over 700 Galaxy A8 smartphone devices to customer-facing employees across three airport hubs in Stockholm (ARN), Oslo (OSL) and Copenhagen (CPH). SAS made significant cost savings with the lower-cost Samsung devices compared to the old, expensive dedicated computers and scanners.

Next step

Following the success of the Ground Handling App, SAS are planning on rolling-out more Objective- powered devices around the globe, including the US. With eyes firmly set on customer satisfaction, SAS also plan to add new workflows to the mobile app to help employees in clienteling roles access and share real-time information with customers, from anywhere in the airport.

Our application is a game changer, since SAS employees are now able to scan customer barcodes directly on their mobile phones, they can look up bookings, clear warnings through passport scanning, and board passengers on the airplanes seamlessly.
Matteus Hast
Software Developer, Objective Solutions