Holistic airline cost efficiency offering, combining 40 years of industry experience, promises to streamline costs, helping the sector’s return to profitability
Skymetrix, the leading global provider of aviation fuel & cost management solutions, has acquired Rainmaker Business Technologies, a specialist aviation crew pay and cost management software – providing a “one-stop-shop” for airline cost efficiency.
- Rainmaker’s sophisticated software enables its customers, including JetBlue, UPS and Alaska Airlines, to better understand and manage crew costs, including crew productivity and utilization. Airlines have been severely impacted by crew shortages in recent years making accurate and transparent pay a vital aspect of crew retention.
- Skymetrix’s software centralizes all fuel and operational flight data – providing one accurate picture of all direct flight costs including fuel demand, consumption and spend, to help operational and strategic decision-making. Skymetrix annually manages over $76 billion of flight charges and over 30% of commercial jet fuel consumption. Skymetrix serves over 103 airlines, across 27 countries and four continents. Customers include Lufthansa, Etihad, Emirates and Ryanair.
By combining their expertise and technology, Skymetrix and Rainmaker now offer their customers the broadest and most powerful unified suite of solutions from one vendor, covering all the major flight-related costs — from fuel, crew, ground handling, airport, and navigation. Their products centralize supply, invoicing & payment data; automate inefficient manual processes; and provide detailed insights – to enable airlines to make significant financial savings and boost operational performance.
“The airline business is undergoing an exciting transition. As airlines rebuild from the pandemic, they are looking to adopt new innovative technologies and ways of working. It’s vital for airlines to progressively manage down their costs and risk as they undergo this shift.
“By combining Skymetrix – with Rainmaker’s ‘all things crew’ offering, we can now provide airlines with a clear line of sight of their full operations for the first time – enabling them to cut costs and create the space for sustainable growth.”
CEO of Rainmaker, Brendan Fuller, said:
“The aviation industry is under serious pressure to hire and retain flight crew. Managing the crew value chain from manpower planning – to crew scheduling and ‘day of operations’ is a highly complex, dynamic series of tasks. Rainmaker Crew Pay Manager solves a major problem by fully automating the calculation and processing of pay.
“Rainmaker Crew Analytics provides detailed evidence from ‘day of operations’ to validate manpower plans, it provides the critical feedback airlines need to optimize their workforces, plus ‘chapter and verse’ on managing crew costs.
“It makes perfect sense to combine our expertise on crew lifecycle management with Skymetrix; a company that shares our vision to transform airline operations with innovative technology. Our combined offering simplifies airline operations, to unlock greater productivity and efficiency gains for our customers.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a return to profitability for the global airline industry in 2023, with the industry forecast to record total revenues of $779 billion. However, despite the recovery of the sector, led primarily by a continued rebound in passenger demand, IATA has warned that overall airline costs are expected to grow by 5.3% to $776 billion.
Michael Scheidler, CEO of Skymetrix, added:
“It is remarkable that our industry is turning the corner to profitability after the travails of the last few years. Airlines are now acutely aware that strong cost control in the face of complexity and volatility, such as rising fuel, labour and airport prices, is key to competitiveness. With our strengthened offering, we are ready to support our customers through the complex challenges of 2023 –into an exciting new era for the airline business.”
The funding for the acquisition of Rainmaker is led by Ventiga Capital Partners, a UK-based private equity firm with a track record of investing in European technology companies. Pegasus Capital acted on behalf of Rainmaker.
Tom Fitzgerald, Investment Director at Ventiga, said:
“We merged FuelPlus and Airpas to create Skymetrix, the global leader in critical cost management for airlines in June 2021. Today, we are excited to fund the acquisition of Rainmaker, which expands Skymetrix’s expertise in crew pay and reinforces our commitment to become the aviation markets ‘one-stop-shop’ for all its cost management needs.”
Headquartered in Germany, Skymetrix has a vision to power the aviation industry to sustainable growth. Its cloud-based platform gives airlines a new way to improve fuel and cost management and delivers benefits that are critical success factors for any aviation business: lower costs, enhanced efficiency and greater profitability. With over 40 years’ experience in aviation and 100+ customers, Skymetrix has become a global leader in the sector. Skymetrix’s customers include Air France-KLM, IAG, Spirit Airlines, Cathay Pacific, DHL, Emirates, Lufthansa and Ryanair. The company has also established strategic partnerships with industry bodies like IATA.
Skymetrix was borne out of a merger in 2021 between Airpas Aviation — the leader in cost management for airport, ground handling and navigation charges — and FuelPlus, the industry leader in fuel administration and cost management for airlines, which joined to form Skymetrix. The Rainmaker acquisition marks the latest chapter in Skymetrix’s strategy to be the global leader in airline lifecycle management, with further announcements to follow this year.
Rainmaker was established Dublin, Ireland in 2005 and has worked specifically with airlines since 2007 in the area of managing flight crew. Rainmaker integrates with all major Crew Management Systems in the market and automates the calculation and processing of pay for pilots and flight attendants. This is a complicated challenge in many jurisdictions around the world as Collective Agreements have become more complex and difficult to implement.
The Rainmaker pay solution automates every aspect of the process through to payroll and provides full visibility for crew. Rainmaker Crew Analytics provides airline management with deep insights into all cost deviations plus performance KPI’s to inform decision making. Rainmaker Operations Analytics provides up to the minute information on punctuality and delay management across airline networks and early warning of delays – helping to minimise delay costs.
About Ventiga Capital Partners
Ventiga is a UK-based independent private equity firm, which focuses on unlocking value in complex transactions and driving growth in high-quality, profitable lower-middle-market businesses within growing market niches in the UK, Nordic and DACH regions.