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Success Stories

Austrian Airlines and CASE 2 Airline

Austrian Airlines relies on CASE 2 Airline (becoming CASE 3)
Austrian Airlines AG (subsidiary of Lufthansa AG), an Austrian airline based in Vienna, is a customer of General Solutions Steiner GmbH since 2009. Since it may be possible to come across "worst case" scenarios, whereby human lives are in danger, Austrian Airlines AG strives to always act with foresight and to be prepared for all possible eventualities. Austrian Airlines was already using an application for capturing and processing information of passengers and relatives, the application according to Peter Hödl (Head of Austrian Airlines Emergency Planning), was no longer technically up to date. For this reason it was decided after careful consideration to instruct General Solutions with the creation of a new, modern and much more sophisticated system.
The aim was that in case of disaster all parties involved (managers, organizations and individual caregivers) have the best possible overview of requests, information, personal data, desires, concerns and needs. Thus, those affected can be specifically helped in a crisis "we know who, what, when, where, as affected by the disaster," said Hödl. "In brief, to provide humanitarian care at the highest and most efficient level is one of the most important keys to successful crisis management. In addition to people who know their job, CASE 2 Airline is a key pillar", explained Hödl.

The way to General Solutions
Twenty years ago, a simple, intranet-based system called CASE was created by one of the Austrian Airlines IT technicians. At that time it was a novelty in crisis management as one turned away from the traditional paper or excel spreadsheets. In early 2009, the airline decided to expand the outdated system. "Since then, we work together with General Solutions and it is not to adulate, but it is thoroughly honest and out of great conviction when I say that this cooperation has run fantastically over the years. Whoever suspects here too little credibility should call me. I will tell you gladly straightforward and personally!", says Peter Hödl still enthusiastic.
We started off by agreeing upon the individual wishes and requirements precisely. In order to find a more efficient approach, CASE 2 came about in co-production with Austrian Airlines. Consequently a win-win situation resulted in developing the software. On the one hand the knowledge of the requirements and on the other hand the technical expertise on how to implement the requirements.

The demands on CASE 2 Airline and the Germanwings crash
A system should be created, which one is not hesitant to work with, but rather glad because of its ease of use. "What is the use of building a spaceship if we have no crew that can operate it? What is the point to have a high-sophisticated tool when employees shy away and instead go back to using paper, pens and excel?", brings up Hödl.
Despite the simplicity in use, the tool should fit to the organization, the company's internal processes and procedures. As we started having enough staff trained on the system, it was finally rolled out in early 2010. Depending on the application, a training course can take from 30 minutes to 2½ hours. Through a targeted training, the users are able to quickly reorient themselves around the application in an emergency, particularly if a long time has passed. 
In March 2015, CASE 2 Airline had its baptism of fire. As the Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, CASE 2 Airline was effectively launched overnight by Lufthansa and Germanwings to support, administer, manage and care for all affected parties. In short time all the employees assigned were able to use the new, improved and customized system without any extra training. "If the event would have not been so sad and inconceivable, it would have me thrilled - it was muted satisfaction and the good feeling that Austrian Airlines and General Solutions could contribute through foresight and commitement", explains the head of the emergeny planning.

The results
CASE 2 Airline is now being used across the Lufthansa Group. Outside the Lufthansa Group Luxair also relies on CASE 2 Airline.
The lessons learned from the Germanwings accident had already been implemented on the currently running version 1.5. The application supports users in the difficult task of maintaining order and an overview to be able to contribute with an individual customized care work. Through this order trust is built among interested parties, because it conveys, that their concerns are taken into consideration and bundled into one place.
In addition, the assigned employees can be relieved from certain frantic difficult tasks, since they are familiar with a system that actually works in a crisis situation. They have a tool at their disposal that facilitates their job. By proper documentation, each step can be followed, tracked and in further consequence used to help with litigation matters. Supplementary to these aspects CASE 2 assists in the analysis of course of action and decision making process. 
The knowledge and experience linked to the Germanwings catastrophe forced us to develop a completely new system that is based on the latest technical standard - CASE 3!
Single Modules like the Task Management are already in place for all travel related issues.

What would you say to other customers who are in a similar situation as yours?

 

"Go for it!

I say this not only out of conviction, but also with the idea that the more CASE 2 is used mainly in the tourism and passenger transportation sectors, the better the opportunities for cooperation are! And the bottom line is more resources to lower costs for all.
The use of CASE 2 is seen as convenient within the Lufthansa Group. It enables our Emergency Call Center to network smoothly. Our employees work worldwide based on a standard and a procedure. We are significantly better in the situation to take advantage of existing language and cultural competencies around the globe. I would be delighted of additional partners!
 

Peter Hödl, Head of Austrian Airlines Emergency Planning
GS / austrian_airlines_logo_whiteBackground

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