/ Information technologies, innovation and R&D
Aeroflot is committed to using modern technologies and innovative solutions in all its operations, from organization of flights to passenger service on the ground and in the air. In 2012 Aeroflot continued to implement projects, which will ensure that the Company keeps its leadership among Russian airlines in the IT sphere.
Mobile website and mobile applications
Aeroflot launched a mobile version of its website in the reporting period, which enables passengers to book and buy tickets from their mobile devices. Access is from the following addresses: http://m.aeroflot.ru and http://pda.aeroflot.ru. In the fourth quarter of 2012 Aeroflot launched mobile applications for iOS (iPhone) and Android mobile platforms, allowing customers to book and buy tickets, check-in for a flight, view the flight schedule and flight status, and make transactions on their Aeroflot Bonus personal account. The Company plans to launch applications for WindowsPhone and iOS (iPad) in 2013.
On-line payments (RUB billion)
Unified payment gateway
In 2012 Aeroflot completed connection of its Unified Payment Gateway to the most-used payment terminal networks and the Russian electronic money system, and started to accept payments via the outlets of a leading Russian mobile phone retailer. A mechanism was also set up as part of the Unified Payment Gateway for debiting the air mile accounts of Aeroflot Bonus programme members when they buy goods and services of programme partners.
Passengers used the Unified Payment Gateway to pay for tickets to the value of about RUB 31 billion during the reporting period.
Sirax revenue accounting system
Aeroflot completed development and testing of the Sirax revenue accounting system in 2012. The Sirax integrated platform optimizes accounting of revenue from passenger carrying, which has positive impact on operating profitability. Sirax also helps to control processes related to Aeroflot’s numerous ticket price regimes, code-sharing agreements, alliances, and taxes and charges. The system has been in operation at Aeroflot since January 1, 2013.
Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) equipment
Aeroflot was the first among European Airbus А320 operators to install and operate Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) equipment supplied by Goodrich and Carlisle. The EFB system consists of two fixed tablets on the flight deck, which store operating information including navigation maps and special software needed by the pilots to prepare for and perform flights. The Company plans to fit all of its Airbus А320 aircraft with EFB equipment in the future. Changeover to EFB will enable Aeroflot to completely dispense with paper documentation.
In 2012 Aeroflot adopted a medium-term programme of innovative development. The Company’s innovation activities are focused on improvement, or maintenance at a high level, of indicators that have crucial importance in the areas of safety, flight regularity and passenger service. Aeroflot is currently working with Russia’s Higher School of Economics to update its Innovative Development Programme and to involve subsidiary airlines in the programme.
The Company worked on 79 innovative projects in 2012, as follows:
- 19 projects related to operations,
- 5 projects related to safety,
- 14 projects related to in-flight service
- 10 projects related to management,
- 1 energy-saving project,
- 30 projects related to commercial activities.
Specific key innovation projects included:
- equipping of Airbus А330 aircraft with GSM and Internet access systems;
- introduction of a full flight simulator for pilot training as part of integration of aircraft delivered by CJSC Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SSJ-100s) to the Aeroflot fleet.
In 2012–2013 Aeroflot engaged Open Innovation Inc., a federal business incubator network, to carry out an open competition for research and development of innovative concepts in the sphere of in-flight entertainmеnt. Those taking part in the competition included business leaders in IT, the computer game industry, industrial design, social media, and engineering from Ekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, London, Moscow, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk. The competition winner, AeroStore, presented a comprehensive solution with a fully designed IT component and suggestions for content. Conduct of open competitions is in conformity with the concept of open innovation and helps to integrate existing solutions from other fields for the benefit of Aeroflot’s business, adapting them to specific Company needs.
Research and Development (R&D)
Aeroflot carries out research and development (R&D) in a range of priority areas, including safety, environment, and service quality. In 2012 the Company spent 0.2% of its revenue on R&D. Projects are carried out both using the Company’s own resources and with the involvement of third-party contractors, but are mainly based on ideas and suggestions from Aeroflot’s own staff and business units.
During the year Aeroflot implemented projects in 82 R&D spheres, as follows:
- 18 projects related to operations,
- 17 projects related to safety,
- 1 project related to in-flight service,
- 22 projects related to management,
- 6 projects related to environment and energy saving,
- 18 projects related to sales.
Specific R&D projects in 2012 included:
- “Development and manufacturing of Russian-made multi-purpose de-icing fluid” (a study carried out by Kazan National Research and Technology University), will make Aeroflot less dependent on deliveries of imported fluids for treatment of foreign-made aircraft and will increase environmental safety through use of non-toxic materials.
- “Study of the application of augmented reality technologies for virtual visualization of landing glide-path using GLONASS/GPS systems”, which aims to develop an autonomous back-up system for blind landing in emergency situations. Aeroflot obtained a patent for the development in February 2012. A corresponding patent was issued in the USA in April 2012.