Ethiopian Airlines Group made the shift to a paperless system by digitalising all of its internal work processes. The digitalisation process has been taking place aggressively for the past seven years with an investment of 50 million dollars.
The company used Oracle, Sebir, SAP, Microsoft and IBM database management systems for the digitalisation process.
The Ethiopian Airlines started the digitalisation process two decades ago for ticketing, boarding and sales services. But it has begun the digitalisation process for the internal work such as flight operations, business, finance, human resource management (HRM), customer services and procurement for the past ten years.
The transition was marked by a paper burning ceremony held at the premises of the Airline. Before the ceremony, the CEO of the company, Tewolde Gebremariam signed the last approval letter on September 29, 2017.
"It will ensure cost-effective and efficient service provisions of the enterprise," said Tewolde. "Customers can now get our services using their smartphones."
Currently, the Airline's online ticket sale has reached 12pc of total sales, and it is aspiring to reach to a global standard of 30pc with the new system, according to the CEO.
This does not mean that Ethiopian will completely avoid dealing with papers, especially for external communications as some of its partners and stakeholders like Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and Ethiopian Airports Enterprise still communicate with papers.
"We will assist them to convert to a paperless system," said the CEO.
The digital system includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which integrates planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance and human resources, Application Service Provider (ASP), a computer-based service to attend to customers over a network without installing software on computers.
Recently, the company has shifted from ID card to biometric systems application, using the fingerprint identification to detect the person whose data is already registered in the system.
To avoid cyber attacks, the company tested its IT security systems. Furthermore, to prevent the system from man-made and natural disasters, the server is mirrored with a cost of 10 million dollars, according to Tewolde.
Three months ago, the Airlines merged with Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) to create the Ethiopian Airlines Group with a regulation ratified by the Council of Ministers (CoM).
The merger consolidated EAE, Passenger Airline, Cargo Airline & Logistics Company, Ethiopian Aviation Academy, Ethiopian In-flight Catering Services, Ethiopian Hotel & Tourism Services and Ethiopian MRO Services.
Founded in 1945, the national carrier Ethiopian Airlines flies over 95 international and 21 domestic destinations, earning a net profit of 6.1 billion Br in 2016.