IT consolidation from the merger of British Airways and Iberia has helped achieve €134 million (£112 million) in operational savings.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the name for the combined company, told Computerworld UK that technology infrastructure changes had contributed to the savings, alongside sales team integration, single management teams in a number of key airports, shared property and shared engineering services.
The combination of IT teams between Iberia and BA has also played a part, it said.
A spokesperson at IAG insisted the changes equally involved adding new technology to improve efficiency.
"IAG is building a platform of technological services to help achieve synergies and cost savings as well as a platform for growth," said the spokesperson. "In 2011, most of the IT synergies have come from infrastructure consolidation savings".
IAG said it was investing in areas such as Avios for mileage rewards and in its cargo business.
"IAG Cargo, for instance, has launched an innovative free iPhone and Android phone application, which allows customers to track and trace air freight documented on Iberia and British Airways World Cargo airway bills," said the spokesperson.
The application provides customers with full access to information on both brands' global schedules and networks, with real-time tracking information on their shipments.
IAG said last week that its savings so far were €134 million and costs of implementation were €60 million, resulting in net benefits of over seven times its current target.
As the company reported a more than six-fold pre-tax annual profit rise to €503m euros, Willie Walsh, chief executive, said its performance had "been boosted by net cost and revenue synergies of €74 million, €64 million more than target, in our first year since the merger."
But he said there was much modernisation work to do, particularly with Iberia, adding that "the challenge remains for Iberia to become more competitive, especially as it has a high cost base and outdated workplace practices".
Photo credit: Scott Wright