improved airline on-board operations Paperless Environment Increase Cabin Crew Productivity optimised on-board sales opportunities & revenue customer-centric data

What we can do for you

How our system design and selection of industry standard development tools and operating systems benefits the airline operator

Cabin crew serving passengers

The NovoStar system is a portfolio of optimised system components, based around our ‘NovoStar Connect’ middleware product. ‘Connect’ provides seamless interfacing to front-end POS hardware & software and all major back office business systems. ‘Connect’ is based upon the standard Microsoft Azure platform, providing an immediate level of assurance to airline IT personnel. System reliability, redundancy, security and future enhancement are all effectively underwritten by the Microsoft Corporation’s own development effort. 

The integrated tools, pre-built templates and managed services associated with Azure make it easier for us to build and manage enterprise, mobile, and web applications faster. This means that we can offer generic system upgrades and bespoke modifications to our airline clients rapidly. 

Azure supports the broadest selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices available in the current market. For the technically minded this means that we can build apps with JavaScript, Python, .NET, PHP, Java and Node.js. For the non technically minded, this means that we are able to support front and back end system development in all of the major operating environments, namely iOS, Android and Windows.

General System Attributes

The inherent flexibility in the Azure platform has enabled us to incorporate system attributes that are of tangible benefit to the airline operator, namely;

  • We are able to maintain a genuinely agnostic stance with regards to hardware provision, which provides multiple choices for the airline operator
  • The system interfaces with all data access points including smart phones, tablets, seatback IFE and various streaming solutions
  • The system supports a distributed model where the data can be located on servers on the ground, onboard the aircraft or as native applications on mobile devices
  • The NovoStar system is scalable and modular in nature. We can offer implementation of standard modules or additional bespoke development to facilitate additional system functionality
  • The NovoStar system offers inherent platform stability with measurable and proven minimisation of downtime disruption
  • NovoStar ‘Connect’ facilitates multi-party system connectivity such that all relevant users including passengers, crew, airline executives and travel-operator vendors can access the components that are pertinent to them

Improved Revenue

How the Novostar system optimises on-board sales opportunities & revenue

Plane taking off

Touchstar has supported airline sector for more than three decades. As a result we possess unparalleled knowledge of how to optimise your retail activities from a technical and operational perspective. That knowledge directly steers our research & development process, the end result being systems that improve ancillary revenue performance, streamline processes and reduce costs.

The adoption of Novostar’s ‘Hub’ Middleware solution allows airline operators to access invaluable customer profiling data. Combining passenger information with sales history creates a sales history database that enables crew to employ modern in-flight retail practices. At the point of sale, engaging with the passenger, making the sale and completing the payment process are all made easier by the adoption of the correct choice of mobile hardware combined with the latest innovations in payment technologies. NovoStar is a flexible and cost-effective sales and payment processing tool, capable of optimising the ancillary revenue opportunity in both the on-line and off-line environment. With the Novostar system, crew are able to secure payments on a tablet, Smart phone or dedicated POS terminal. Payment methods can include credit cards, debit cards (for certain countries), vouchers, Air Miles, cash or contactless cards (NFC). 

Some of the many ways that the Novostar system enhances the ancillary revenue opportunity include;

  • Using customer purchase history and social data to construct a personalised selling proposition
  • Equipping the crew with hardware & software tools that are unparalleled in ease of use
  • Less time spent with the administration of the sale means more genuine selling opportunities
  • Combining passenger data with payment data to eliminate fraud and reduce the frequency of disputed transactions in-flight. Less negative interaction with passengers means more releasing of positive selling time
  • Identify passengers with historical high spend by name, enabling crew to target these customers for upsell opportunities, seat upgrades etc
  • Intelligent data also helps the airline operator to avoid waste, an obvious and invaluable cost reduction consideration. Trolley stocking and catering supplies can be optimised

Crew Experience

Improving the Crew Experience

Aircraft cabin crew serving

Keeping the team operationally fit is essential for airlines that expect high performing teams. On-board reports, crew messages, announcements, flight documentation and more are handled using our simple to use Novostar product suite. It has a flexible interface, which ensures the correct information is always available on the correct flight, and can even be made available for specific crew members. Information gathered via the ‘forms’ function can be fed back into the reporting suite and the airline’s core systems for super tight integration. It’s also easy to set it up so that information can be emailed as raw data or formatted information to management teams.

Passenger Experience

How the Novostar system enhances the customer experience

Looking after child on plane

The modern passenger demands fast and reliable service . They expect personalised experiences that enhance their time on board and that match service levels they experience off board. They want the ability to access multiple services on smartphones, tablets, seatback screens and Wi-Fi enabled passenger devices, just as they can when shopping in a ground-based environment. Facilitating that access through carefully deployed technology and combining it with unique passenger insights from intelligent customer data can not only drive an ancillary revenue programme but provide the traveller with an enhanced journey experience.

Ensuring that the crew can access key passenger and operational data enables them to deliver a more personalised experience to the passenger. Giving the passenger a personalised product offering, responding more rapidly to general and travel queries & recovering more rapidly from mistakes in service delivery all lead to one thing ...... a satisfied customer who is more likely to spend and be retained!

There are multiple ways in which the Novostar system enhances the customer experience, here are just a few;

  • Crew are equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software tools that facilitate easy selling and payment processing. A smoother, quicker, transaction for the client preserves the association with an overall professional service delivery for the airline
  • Access to particular data sets, such as baggage handling or flight information, can be acquired immediately prior to departure. Passengers can be informed of problems with baggage or connecting flights and can be assisted in taking remedial action whilst on-board. It’s not always ‘good news’ but passengers will appreciate the proactive approach of the crew
  • In-flight incidents & events, be they positive or negative, can be formally recorded digitally by crew members. This can assist with the identification of persistent issues or opportunities for improvements in service delivery
  • The availability of customer-centric data can allow for the easy provision of a wide range of enhanced services. Crew can encourage enrolment in frequent flyer programmes, fulfil special dietary requirements, facilitate pre-order purchases etc. ....all on an individualised basis

Operational Efficiency

How the Novostar system improves airline on-board operations

Plane on runway

When it comes to the optimisation of on-board services the extent of improvement can often hinge upon the use of our Novostar Hub Adapters  to interface with critical ‘back office’ business systems.  In the area of in-flight provisioning, a modern airline striving for efficiency gains needs to deploy an automated catering and cabin service solution that offers optimized solutions through data sharing.

By interfacing directly with an airline’s reservations and departure control systems, an enhanced on-board operations system can more accurately forecast passenger counts as well as provide more accurate information, accounting for special meals, upgrades, go-shows, no-shows, updates to the printed catering report and much more. Along with forecasting features, the Novostar system offers order visibility, increased use of reusable inventory and better inventory control. 

When the system is integrated with flight schedule data numerous additional benefits are gained. System automation enables personnel to quickly create provisioning plans, determining what product and services are required onboard based on airline-defined service rules and policies, and then store the associated pricing. Once completed, those plans can be applied to the flight schedule as appropriate to the flights and classes of service offered. Integration with the flight operations system ensures the provisioning schedule is always in line with the latest flight schedule adjustments

Additionally, the in-flight provisioning solution automates the time-consuming task of planning galley loading, enabling personnel to plan the loading process with automatic monitoring of the weight being loaded and available space within each galley and position. Reducing labour-intensive tasks associated
with galley planning, inventory reconciliation and invoice auditing, frees employees to provide the next level of passenger service excellence.