VMware, Inc. announced that it is collaborating with Philippine Airlines to better serve passengers and support employees. As part of the airline’s push to adopt the latest technology solutions and best practices, the national carrier deployed VMware AirWatch to create an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution.
According to the airline, the solution is designed to enhance passenger safety, enable greater efficiency and cost savings, and help the airline meet compliance in a highly regulated industry.
Approaching its 76th anniversary, Philippine Airlines, Asia’s first airline, continues to innovate and offer enhancements to improve on ground and in-flight service efficiency. The EFB solution, managed using VMware AirWatch®, allows the airline’s flight operations team to distribute updates as they become available. With the solution, both flight and on ground crew members have secure access to the most up-to-date electronic information through their company-issued devices. With VMware AirWatch®, the airline can also have all sensitive information accessed on mobile devices in a manner that is compliant with both the company’s and the aviation industry’s security policies.
“Security and reliability are critical components of our business. Moving to a secure and mobile EFB system has enabled us to fulfill both objectives. Our partnership with VMware has helped us achieve our goal of providing safe and reliable travel for all our passengers. The modular nature of VMware AirWatch® has made the transition much easier, enabling us to easily integrate all our existing platforms and IT solutions into the new environment,” said Selino Jalalon, manager, Flight Technical, Flight Operations Department, Philippine Airlines.
Moving away from a cumbersome paper system, the electronic system improves efficiency by reducing operational and manpower costs from recurring printing and binding, while promoting a greener work environment. With at least 75 kilograms – the estimated weight of all paper-based Flight Bag documents – offloaded from each flight, Philippine Airlines could instead explore revenue generating options, such as accommodating an additional passenger or more cargo, while still staying within aviation regulations on total weight limits. The transition to an EFB system has saved Philippine Airlines significant costs, according to the airline. The airline also said it managed to cut down load and consumption of 2,600 reams of paper annually – at least 75 kilograms, resulting in a more environmentally sustainable operating model.
“Flight bags are crucial in the safety of passengers, which means that every minor revision or discrepancy has to be manually updated to comply with strict regulations from government authorities, plane and engine manufacturers, and airline regulatory bodies, amongst others. Traditional paper-based systems made updating flight bags extremely cumbersome and inefficient, with an average of two flights delayed or cancelled each month as a result,” added Jalalon.
According to the airline, the highly sensitive nature of flight data meant that a paper-based system did not meet its requirements for a high level of security, given that these documents could be easily lost or stolen. With VMware AirWatch®, the airline was able to address cyber security concerns surrounding the move to an EFB system. Apart from providing mobile device and data encryption, VMware AirWatch® empowered Philippine Airlines to be able to actively detect cyber threats and automatically and remotely wipe, lock or quarantine any compromised devices.
“Our collaboration with Philippine Airlines is another demonstration of how VMware AirWatch® can help businesses achieve true enterprise mobility and enhance data security, especially those looking to innovate and transform their operations in tightly regulated industries. Service quality and flight reliability is crucial to passenger satisfaction. The move to an EFB system will therefore help airlines better meet safety and business objectives. Apart from boosting efficiency and cost savings while meeting regulatory compliance requirements, Philippine Airlines is now also able to easily scale the EFB system up or down, as and when required,” said Emmanuel Portugal, country manager, Philippines, VMware.
With the successful deployment of the EFB and VMware AirWatch® across 1,300 devices, Philippine Airlines said it is looking to acquire aircraft that are compatible with the system, to further improve the safety and reliability of flights across its entire fleet.