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Transavia Takes Off After Pivot to Low Cost Venture

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

Transavia Airlines had humble beginnings, operating as a charter service in the Netherlands in 1965. Its first flight carried the Dutch Ballet Orchestra and the Dutch Dance Theatre from Amsterdam to Naples and back.

But those humble beginnings were just a starting point for the company, which has since grown to serve 250 destinations, primarily in Europe, but also Dubai and North Africa. The transition from a B2B charter business to a B2C low-cost airline, was powered in large part by its acquisition as a joint venture between KLM and Air France. With the two larger airlines behind it, Transavia was able to expand rapidly.

To help fuel its growth, Transavia focused on embracing technology and providing customers with digitally powered customer service and innovative in-flight experiences. Providing passengers with easy, intuitive ways to purchase tickets and ensuring the airline met passenger expectations was a recipe for success.

As part of its focus on technology, Transavia soon realized that an aging AS 400 system based in its office in the Netherlands and an Infor system in France would not be able to scale with its ambitious plans for growth.

NetSuite OneWorld with its cloud-based architecture fit in well with Transavia’s commitment to low overhead and modern, streamlined operations. Additionally, NetSuite OneWorld’s multi-currency, multi-language capabilities and ability to manage multiple subsidiaries on a single instance proved to be the right fit for a business running two subsidiaries across Europe. It implemented the solution in January of 2017.

The NetSuite implementation quickly proved valuable.

“In the land of blind people, the man with one eye is king,” said Elroy Kinders, team leader financial accounting at Transavia. “With NetSuite, we began to find out how much we didn’t know.”

NetSuite immediately brought new visibility into operations and reduced manual input. For example, with NetSuite, the finance team no longer has to hand copy 21,000 invoices into the system. Additionally, learnings from the implementation allowed Transavia to introduce more structure and efficiencies, enabling the finance team to spend more time on analysis. Kinders has built reports that tell him how quickly the company pays its vendors, how many bills are pending approval and more.

“Every day, I’m thinking about what kind of search I can use more, what open bills are outstanding and why are they not paid,” he said.

What’s more, the efficiencies have paid off across the IT and finance organization.

“As part of the implementation, we have restructured all the interfaces within the IT environment,” Kinders said.

Learn more about how companies in Europe are growing with NetSuite financial software.