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Aerad/SAS Flight Support

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Aerad/SAS Flight Support

Old 25th Oct 2002, 10:26
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Aerad/SAS Flight Support

Morning all,

I posted this as a reply in Questions, but I think it might deserve a wider audience...


OK, listen carefully...Aerad was owned by BA, who sold it to Racal in 1997 (rather than sell it to SAS Flight Support which also bid). In 2000 the whole of Racal, of which what had been Aerad was a minuscule part, was bought by Thomson CSF of France. As this was too simple, Thomson renamed itself after the Greek philosopher Thales (obviously). What had been Aerad was now an even more minuscule part of Thales, which is a multi-billion dollar/franc/pound corporation. And now, AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT, Thales has agreed to sell what was Aerad to SAS Flight Support (as ATI subscribers will already know, sorry - couldn't resist). The key point in the deal is that SASFS will then acquire a FMS data product, which Thales has but SASFS does not, to add to its chart line.

Virgin previously switched from Aerad to SASFS and back again. I think I'm right to say that SASFS will now have to make some tough decisions about which products to support on the charting side. ie will they keep both formats going or not. Nasty one. But if you've been told that your airline is switching to SASFS, the question you need to ask is: boss, do you mean SASFS charts or Aerad charts under SASFS ownership?

For those still interested/listening, there is now more or less a three horse race in this field - SASFS, Lufthansa/LIDO, and of course Jeppesen which still has the vastly overwhelming market share.

SASFS and LIDO have been close to tying up for ages but never managed to seal the knot. LIDO absorbed Swissair Flight Support a while back and I think any outside observer would say that a SASFS/LIDO alliance would still make sense given Jeppesen's strength - but there is a lot of baggage that would make that hard to do.

Jeppesen, incidentally, was owned by US publisher Times Mirror and put up for sale in 2000 when TM was bought by Tribune of the USA. That was when its revenues and profits were first revealed and it became clear that it was a money machine. Bidding opened and this rather obscure company was sold for an astounding $1.5 billion to Boeing. Boeing believes that the whole area of support services is a moneymaker, and helps it sell aeroplanes - although so far it has struggled to make Jepp fit as well as it had hoped.

The big remaining question is: what is Airbus going to do. This is an issue that has grown big enough to be on CEO Noel Forgeard's desk, but no answer yet. Any info on this would be much appreciated by private e-mail pls.
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 12:44
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Cool

You have many points in what you say Algy , I used to work for SASFS and all I know is that they're not sure them selfes what to do. If they should keep the Aerad products or not. As you say the acquisition was of course to obtain the FMS data base.

The new name, or so I've head anyway, is supposed to be European Aeronautical Groupe.

SASFS lost the bidding for Swissair Flight Support about a year ago to LIDO. (Swissair Flight Support used to have a cooperation with SASFS some years ago.)

There has been talks for a while about the Airbus idea but nothing definate yet. SASFS has however a project with Airbus concerning the "Less paper cockpit concept", or whatever it's called, especially since SAS has bought some Airbuses and are keen on the less paper thing. The main core of this is the eRM (electronic Route Manual) which SASFS has developed. To my meening the eRM is better than the Jepp View, but that is another discussion.

Let's see what happeds, but a natural strategical move for Airbus would be to match Boeings support line.

Cheers
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 20:19
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Very interesting, Algy.
I've used Jeps for 10 yrs, Aerad for 20 & RAF for 8 and I'd rate them RAF, Aerad, Jep in that order. I can do without the same info printed two or three times on the same page but I guess we'll still have Jeps shoved down our throats all the same
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 20:53
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Whatever they do, please keep the Supplements.
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Old 26th Oct 2002, 22:57
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Cool

Have you hear anything else Algy ?



BTW, I might add that SASFS are seriously under staffed right now and will be for a forseeable future...

Last edited by Knold; 26th Oct 2002 at 23:06.
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Old 28th Oct 2002, 15:05
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Algy wrote:

Quote:SASFS and LIDO have been close to tying up for ages but never managed to seal the knot. LIDO absorbed Swissair Flight Support a while back and I think any outside observer would say that a SASFS/LIDO alliance would still make sense given Jeppesen's strength - but there is a lot of baggage that would make that hard to do. Unquote

Iím rather surprised SAS/LH, both members of the STAR Alliance, donít see the benefit of merging their Flight Support services. To me it doesnít make business sense to operate two competing units within the same alliance.
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Old 28th Oct 2002, 18:32
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Our company uses SASFS charts and LIDO flightplanning.
Interestingly though, they tell us that the charts are soon going to be adjusted to show the same route-MORA values as does the LIDO system.......
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