Qantas Group selects SAP executive Susan Doniz as CIO

SAP executive Susan Doniz will fulfil the role of CIO at Qantas, effective from late January 2017.

Qantas Group has selected SAP executive Susan Doniz to fulfil the role of CIO after undertaking a global search for Luc Hennekens' replacement.

Hennekens revealed his intention to leave the national carrier in July after three years of leading its technology operations. He moved to France to join Airbus Group as CIO after working his last day at Qantas in September.

Doniz will relocate from Canada to start her new role at Qantas at the end of January 2017. Her remit will cover group-wide technology projects as well as Qantas' loyalty business.

"Qantas isn't just an iconic company, it's one with a long history of embracing new technology," Doniz said. "I'm really excited to be taking up the CIO role and I'm looking forward to working on the next wave of opportunities that digital change is opening up for airlines and their passengers."

The appointment comes as the national carrier works through a range of digital transformation initiatives, including a shift to cloud computing, the introduction of high-speed inflight wi-fi, new mobile tools for customers and employees, and a growing focus on big data.

Qantas turned to Amazon Web Services to help with flight planning as its legacy systems could not handle the compute power required to run analysis around determining if certain flights were possible.

Since commencing its transition to the cloud, the national carrier managed to speed up its booking processing times from batch to batch to real-time, increase data processing time by 100 times, reduce the amount of code required to do the same workload by 90 percent, and cut the cost to run the service by 80 percent.

In October, GE Aviation launched its fourth digital collaboration centre in its Digital Solutions headquarters in Austin, Texas, with Qantas as its launch customer.

As part of the initiative, data scientists, engineers, and software designers from Qantas and GE embarked on an analysis of some of the 10 billion data points produced by the aviation sector annually to help the Australian carrier cut fuel costs and carbon emissions. This includes analysis of flight paths, replacement cycles, and engine optimisation

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