Lufthansa To Launch ASP Service - InformationWeek

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Lufthansa To Launch ASP Service

Best known as the parent of Germany's national airline, Lufthansa Group is hoping to parlay its expertise in supply-chain management into a new business as an outsourced supplier of airline technology. In its first quarter, it will launch a Web-based application service provider service that automates airline procurement, equipment management, catering, and cabin-service operations.

The business will run through a new subsidiary, eLSG.SkyChefs, which will be based in Arlington, Texas. Offices in Europe and Asia are scheduled to open in the third quarter. Under a strategic alliance, Sabre Holdings Corp. will supply its AirServ E-business collaboration software; other technology suppliers have yet to be announced.

Lufthansa is far from a newcomer to the food-service arena, and indeed will be its own biggest and best customer. Its catering operation, LSG Sky Chefs, is the world's leading provider of the meals we all love to complain about, producing 390 million of them a year -- about a third of all meals served aloft -- for 260 airline customers. Its procurement operation buys and delivers everything from peanuts to prime rib to 200 Sky Chefs kitchens around the world.

The new service initially will help track catering carts and coffeepots through the air as flights are canceled or rerouted. But the long-range plan is to expand into services beyond catering, such as flight scheduling and passenger arrivals and departures, a spokesman says. The company's new CEO, Hal Michel, said in a statement that eLSG.SkyChefs' mission is "to help the industry meet the airlines' sustained demand for productivity gains and increasing flexibility."

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