Grant Bradley

Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Glass raised to Merlot's new Asian deal

Mark McCaughan. Photo / Supplied
Mark McCaughan. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland aviation technology business is capitalising on the boom in Asian airline growth by selling a management system to a fast-growing Indonesian carrier - its 15th deal in just over a year.

The company, merlot.aero, is selling the first fully cloud-based airline operations management system, which enables carriers to keep track of their fleet and crew.

It has just signed a deal with Sriwijaya Air, that carries more than 700,000 passengers a month.

Merlot's chief executive Mark McCaughan said the airline had success signing up Regional Express in Australia last February and "has been going gangbusters since then".

Sriwijaya Air is one of the largest domestic carriers in Indonesia and growing, he said.

"The introduction of mobile applications and social collaboration features gives Sriwijaya Air users the ability to manage their airline from wherever they are, on whatever devices they want in a manner they are used to using every day."

The company has also provided its system to the Kuala Lumpur-based Air Asia group which has about 4500 staff and 760 flights a day.

Indonesia was becoming the new low-cost carrier battleground for Asia and an area of huge growth potential for aviation service businesses, said McCaughan.

"It's just off the coast of Australia and very close to us and an area of massive potential that we as New Zealanders don't really tap into that well." The Merlot system can be used for crew rosters and keeping tabs on where aircraft are deployed as well as enabling the flow of financial information.

Using a cloud-based system means airlines can access it using a web browser rather than installing a whole new IT system.

"It has a massive amount of flexibility and it makes it very easy [to] distribute so our costs are lower."

Aviation is estimated to support 24 million jobs in Asia.

- NZ Herald

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