The Air Viva Case Study

Found in Germany, Air Viva is an international travel agency with strong presence in the African and Asian markets. Partnering with Forci has allowed Air Viva to grow and become a recognised brand by improving overall user experience and further automating common tasks. This has lead to an increased number of returning customers and reduced running costs.

1. Understanding the Air Viva business model

We’ve worked with Air Viva since 2013, providing support, bug fixes and keeping the existing old project running while building a strong relationship based on trust and understanding the business better. This has allowed us to move a step further in 2015 and build Air Viva from scratch on a new solid foundation.

2. Planning the new Air Viva

The new project had to be extremely flexible. The user interface was already developed and sliced by a designer Air Viva worked with closely.

The main challenges were:

  • the quick real-time API integration for over 10 partnering airlines
  • the financial and accounting that had to be build in the administration of the project
  • the bookings managing system that had to be easy for the client team
  • the affiliates sub-system that works on different levels
  • the translation system that had to allow 20 translators to work simultaneously in real time, having an easy UX and the meta information about the context of each element

3. Crafting

We chose Symfony as its new heart because in our opinion it’s the best enterprise oriented PHP framework. Symfony always encourages best practices and is extremely flexible and extensible. It has allowed us to swiftly integrate existing solutions to many common problems, giving us time to focus on the core business logic instead. Well-designed Symfony apps are also easy to maintain, which greatly improves stability and reduces costs.

The first stage of development took several months, during which the framework was laid. The design was integrated and the first several airlines were integrated. The new project is also fully backwards compatible with legacy marketing and partner integrations and they continue operating to this day.

4. Continuous development and support

Its flexibility has allowed us to add integrations with new airlines continuously, developing several at a time, without creating unnecessary additional complexity. As this process took place, over time all of the legacy static flights were removed and everything was dynamic: no more paying for your booking only to realise the flight was already full.

Speaking of flexibility, in some markets some airports do not have standard codes. But thanks to custom-developed interfaces for each integration that requires it, the system takes advantage of every single route, thus offering a rich set of flight choices. This completes the milestone “Air Viva 1.0”.

Moving forward, the main goal for “Air Viva 2.0” was complete automation. Over time, each integration was upgraded to being able to book on its own, thus eliminating the need for humans to oversee and maintain the project 24/7. This lead to reducing maintenance costs down to a fraction of what was previously required, allowing Air Viva to become even more competitive.

Air Viva also has affiliate and agency modules. These allow for complete transparency with its partners, where they can see exactly what is going on at any time. We have built a new API which co-exists with the legacy one, which allows for deeper integration with new partners, while not obstructing existing ones from doing what they do best: sales.

5. Feedback

Over the next three years thanks to its clever design and automation Air Viva has grown almost 4 times. Today, we continue constantly improving and extending its functionality.

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